The Japanese government has lodged a protest with the United States over an alleged rape committed by a U.S. navy sailor in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture on Sunday.
Local police has arrested 24-year-old Justin Castellanos, a seaman at the U.S. Navy’s Camp Schwab in northern Okinawa, over the allegation that he took a female traveler in her 40s to his room in a hotel in Naha, capital of Okinawa, after finding her drunk and sleeping in the corridor, and committed the crime.
Okinawa, the southernmost island prefecture of Japan, accounts for less than 1 percent of the country’s total territories but hosts over 70 percent of U.S. bases in Japan.
Rapes, trespass or drunk driving have triggered local residents’ aversion to U.S. servicemen stationed in the prefecture. Japan and the U.S. military have been planning to relocate U.S. forces to a less populated coastal area within Okinawa.
Here is a brief look back at the U.S. troops’ notorious rapes in Okinawa in the past two decades:
— In November 2012, Japanese prosecutors indicted two U.S. sailors on charges of alleged raping and injuring a Japanese woman in Okinawa the previous month.
The two U.S. sailors were seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker, both 23 and from Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas. They are accused of having raped a Japanese woman in her 20s and injured her neck.
— In February 2008, a U.S. staff sergeant at Camp Courtney base was arrested after being accused of raping a 14-year-old girl in Okinawa.
Tyrone Hadnott, 38, was arrested on Feb. 11 on suspicion of raping the girl at previous night inside a car parked on a street in the town of Chatan. Hadnott admitted touching the girl’s body and kissing her by force, but denied the charge of raping throughout detention.
He was later released as the girl dropped accusation, but the Marine Corps conducted its own investigation, charging Hadnott with crimes including rape, making a false official statement and kidnapping.
— In December 2002, the police department of Okinawa issued an arrest warrant against U.S. Marine Corps Major Michael Brown, who was accused of attempted rape and damaging private articles, but the U.S. side refused to hand him over to the police..
— On Sept. 4, 1995, three U.S. servicemen, namely Marines Rodrico Harp, Kendrick Ledet and Navy Seaman Marcus Gill, who were all African American serving at Camp Hansen in Okinawa, were convicted of the abduction and rape of a 12-year-old elementary schoolgirl.
Gill pleaded guilty to the rape, while the other two pleaded guilty to conspiracy. The three, who served prison terms in Japanese prisons, were released in 2003 and then given dishonorable discharges from the U.S. military. Enditem