Navy SEAL sentenced to 89 days for battery; acquitted of raping fellow sailor

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NORFOLK – A Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL that was accused of several crimes related to an incident in February 2015 was sentenced to 89 days of confinement for two of the crimes, according to the Navy.

Chief Special Warfare Operator Stephen Varanko III appeared in a general court martial that spanned four days.

He was found guilty of one count each for battery and violating general regulations, after he placed his hands around a female sailor’s neck and squeezed so that she was not able to breathe and pinned her on the floor using his knee and a submission hold to keep her from moving in a hotel room in Shepherdsville, Ky.

Varanko’s rank will be reduced to Petty Officer First Class.

Varanko had been charged with four counts each of rape and sexual assault but was found not guilty of those charges according to a news release from the Navy on Friday afternoon.

Originally from Maryland, Varanko enlisted in the Navy in November 2006 and reported to the Special Warfare Unit in September 2008, according to Navy biographical information.

Officials said that Varanko was most recently assigned to the Special Reconnaissance Team Two at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.

A previous version of this story said he was found guilty of assault. Varanko was found not guilty of the charge.

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