NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – Two U.S. sailors pleaded guilty Tuesday to raping and injuring a woman in her 20s in Okinawa last October.
A lawyer for Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker, 23, from Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas, told the Naha District Court that he committed the crime on Oct. 16 with the assumption that he would avoid arrest as he was scheduled to leave Japan shortly after.
Seaman Christopher Browning, 24, who took the stand in the first session of his lay judge trial with Dozierwalker, also admitted to the charges but denied conspiring with the petty officer in advance.
The incident sparked anger in Okinawa, which hosts the bulk of U.S. military bases in Japan.
The alleged gang rape of the woman came at a time of fierce opposition among local residents to the deployment of Osprey aircraft at the Futenma base due to the aircraft’s record of crashes.
The two sailors are accused of conspiring with each other to rape the woman at around 3:40 a.m. Oct. 16 in central Okinawa Island, according to the indictment.
Browning is also charged with robbing her of around ¥7,000.
The ruling is scheduled for Friday.
Following the incident, the U.S. military imposed a nighttime curfew on all 40,000 of its personnel in Japan. Despite the curfew, 10 U.S. service members have since been arrested by Okinawa police over crimes and accidents mostly related to drinking.