Since 2015, at least 36 U.S. service members on Okinawa have been arrested in child sex stings operated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
Those detained have belonged to all branches of the military — with marines in the majority — and their ranks have ranged from private to lieutenant colonel. Typically they have received sentences of between two and three years in military prison, and upon their release they will be required to register as sex offenders in the United States.
Details of the operations were revealed by two American lawyers — Timothy J. Bilecki and Stephen H. Carpenter Jr. — who have represented some of those service members arrested. Both lawyers have criticized the methods employed by the U.S. Navy's law enforcement agency.