In a case in which Japanese prosecutors and the U.S. Navy decided not to file charges, the Tokyo District Court has recognized a woman’s claim that she was raped by a U.S. serviceman in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and ordered that she receive 3 million yen in damages.
The woman, an Australian who lives in the Tokyo metropolitan area, filed a civil lawsuit with the court in August 2002 seeking 11.77 million yen in compensation from the serviceman. The man left Japan during the course of the trial and his whereabouts are reportedly unknown.
The woman, in her 40s, plans to request this week that the Yokosuka Committee for the Inquest of Prosecution examine the case, saying it was unjust for the local prosecutors to have decided against an indictment.
The prosecutors have not disclosed the reasons for their inaction, her lawyer said.
According to the Nov. 26 ruling, the woman was raped by the serviceman in her car in a Yokosuka parking lot in the early hours of April 6, 2002. She sustained injuries to her legs and chest that took about a week to heal.
The ruling determined that her statements throughout and actions taken after the rape were consistent. The court said the decision by prosectors not to seek an indictment does not affect the court’s acknowledgment that she was raped.
The court rejected the serviceman’s claim, saying his statements that they had consensual sex were unreasonable and not credible.
The Yokohama District Public Prosecutors Office’s branch in Yokosuka decided against indicting the serviceman in July 2002. The U.S. Navy that October came to the conclusion that a court-martial was not necessary.
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