Twenty-five years ago, on the evening of Sept. 4, 1995 — the day the fourth U.N. World Conference on Women began in Beijing — a 12-year-old girl was abducted, beaten and raped in the village of Kin, Okinawa Prefecture, by three U.S. servicemen — two marines and a naval medic.
The young girl was walking home in her sixth-grade school uniform from a stationery store with her schoolbag when she was grabbed and thrown into the back seat of a rented car by one of the assailants, Marine Pvt. 1st Class Kendrick Ledet, 20, of Waycross, Georgia. The victim was struck, and her mouth taped by the second of the assailants, Pfc. Rodrico Harp, 21, of Griffin, Georgia. He also reportedly taped her eyes closed when he realized she was staring at him with her terrified eyes. The third man, medic Marcus Gill, 22, of Woodville, Texas, then tied her hands and legs.
They drove to Kin Blue Beach Training Area, one of the most isolated parts of Kin on the peninsula nearly 20 minutes away, where she was raped by Gill, physically described as a “tank” at around 120 kilograms and 183 centimeters tall. He beat her and told her to let him do what he wanted to her as she struggled and tried to resist. A non-native English speaker, it is likely she did not know what he was saying, but she must certainly have sensed what he was about to do.