Navy SEAL found guilty of battery, not guilty on rape charges

Posted at 1:55 PM, Mar 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-24 16:11:55-04

NORFOLK, Va. – A verdict was reached Friday in the court martial trial of a Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL accused of raping another Sailor.

Stephen Varanko

Chief Special Warfare Operator Stephen Varanko III was charged with kidnapping, rape, sexual assault, aggravated assault, battery, making a false official statement and violation of a general regulation in violation of Articles 134, 128, 120, 107 and 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The charges stem from an incident on February 26, 2015 in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.

As a result of the trial, Varanko was found guilty of battery, and violation of a general regulation. He was found not guilty on the remaining charges.

The judge sentenced Varanko to 89 days confinement and said his rank will be reduced to an E-6 (Petty Officer 1st Class).

Varanko is assigned to Special Reconnaissance Team Two at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.

Varanko, who is from Maryland, enlisted in the Navy in November 2006 and remains on active-duty status in the Navy.

He has not been confined to a Navy brig and he has not been sentenced at this time.


Court-martial begins for Virginia Beach-based Navy SEAL accused of raping fellow Sailor