SAPPORO (Kyodo) The Sapporo District Court ordered the state Thursday to pay ¥5.8 million in damages to a female former Air Self-Defense Force member who was sexually assaulted by a serviceman at a base in Hokkaido and later mustered out of the service against her will.
The 24-year-old plaintiff was sexually assaulted by the 35-year-old male ASDF member in September 2006. When she asked to be examined by a gynecologist, her commander gave her permission on condition she be accompanied by a different male member, the court said, adding the commander also repeatedly urged her to leave the force.
Presiding Judge Hitoshi Hashizume said the commander “treated the woman, who complained of harm, as a nuisance and tried to make her quit. It was overt and unfair treatment.”
After filing the lawsuit in May 2007 seeking ¥11 million in damages from the state, the plaintiff remained in the ASDF. But she was not allowed in March last year to re-enlist for further duty.
The ASDF, meanwhile, suspended the male member for 60 days in February last year for engaging in a sexual act with the woman. The state had argued in the suit that the sexual act was consensual.
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