The United States agreed Wednesday to hand over a marine stationed in Okinawa Prefecture who allegedly beat and raped a 19-year-old woman in the town of Kin in May, Japanese officials said.
The U.S. government’s decision, delivered at a meeting of the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee, was made in response to Japan’s request to hand over Lance Cpl. Jose Torres, 21, before indictment. Torres was expected to be turned over later Wednesday.
Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, the U.S. military is not required to hand over suspects in criminal cases before they are indicted. But following the rape of a 12-year-old Okinawa girl by three U.S. servicemen in 1995, Washington agreed to give “sympathetic consideration” to handing over suspects in serious crimes, including murder and rape, before charges are actually filed.
U.S representatives are expected to visit Tokyo in the next two weeks to negotiate the criminal trial procedure of Torres under SOFA, according to the Foreign Ministry.
According to police, Torres hit the woman in the face and raped her at around 3:30 a.m. May 25 in a residential area in Kin. The Okinawa District Court’s Naha branch issued an arrest warrant for the serviceman Monday.
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