• Kyodo

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The Naha District Court has rejected a demand filed by a U.S. Marine Corps major on trial for attempted rape that the three judges handling his case be replaced, it was learned Monday.

A lawyer for 40-year-old Michael Brown said he would discuss with his client whether to appeal the decision. Brown was granted bail in May.

Prosecutors allege that Brown tried to rape a woman in her car in Gushikawa, Okinawa Prefecture, last November. While Brown has admitted being with the woman at the time, he has denied trying to rape her.

The woman testified in court that she had not wanted to file a criminal complaint and that she is willing to forgive the defendant. However, presiding Judge Nobuyuki Yokota accepted as evidence the woman’s statement to police in which she strongly indicated a desire to see the major punished.

Brown had sought the removal of all three judges, saying the trial would proceed unfairly under the current circumstances.

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