NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – Prosecutors indicted two U.S. sailors Tuesday on charges of raping and injuring a woman in Okinawa last month.
The case, which will be heard at a lay judge trial, has sparked anger in Okinawa, where tempers have been running high over the deployment of Osprey aircraft at the Futenma military base.
The sailors were identified as Seaman Christopher Browning and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker, both 23 and from the Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas.
They are accused of raping the woman and injuring her neck on the morning of Oct. 16 in a parking lot in the central part of Okinawa Island.
Browning was also charged with stealing about ¥7,000 in cash from the woman, who is in her 20s.
According to Okinawa police, the two Americans have admitted to the charges, though prosecutors have not disclosed what pleas the sailors have entered.
The sailors arrived in Okinawa on Oct. 14 on a military assignment and checked in at a hotel outside a military base the next day. They were scheduled to leave for Guam at 10 a.m. Oct. 16.
In the wake of the alleged rape, the U.S. military in Japan imposed a nighttime curfew on all personnel. However, last week a U.S. serviceman allegedly broke into an apartment in Yomitan, Okinawa, and injured a junior high school boy.
The 24-year-old serviceman has told the police that what he did was terrible, but he remembers little the incident because he was drunk at the time, according to investigative sources. He will continue to be questioned by the police.
He was injured when he jumped out of a window in the third-floor apartment. He had been drinking in a Japanese-style pub on the first floor of the same building. He was discharged from a hospital Sunday.
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