Another sexual assault reported at Kadena
By MATTHEW M. BURKE | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 22, 2014
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — For the second time in as many weeks, an alleged sexual assault has come to light involving high school students on Kadena Air Base in Okinawa.
The incident allegedly happened at Kadena High School on Monday and involved two students, according to DODEA-Pacific schools spokesman Charly Hoff. Administrators received the complaint the following day.
Hoff declined to provide further information regarding the circumstances due to privacy concerns. The case has been handed over to Okinawan prefectural police who are investigating.
Okinawan officials had no further information.
“We’re cooperating fully with law enforcement,” Hoff said. “We’ve taken all the appropriate actions we can pending the results of an investigation.”
Word of the alleged assault comes a week after an 18-year-old Kadena High School student, Ricky Isiah Sherwood, was indicted in federal court on charges that he allegedly raped a heavily intoxicated 17-year-old classmate in front of other students and captured the incident on a cell phone video.
Sherwood was charged in District Court in Minnesota with sexual abuse, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, according to the Justice Department. That incident allegedly took place in early February at the Kadena Air Base home of his legal guardian and uncle, a Marine Corps staff sergeant.
Sherwood is being tried in federal court, because under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, federal courts have jurisdiction over felonies committed abroad by individuals employed by — or accompanying — the U.S. military. The act applies to any offense punishable by more than one year in prison.
Air Force officials at Kadena declined to provide details of the case. However, they did say that incidents regarding dependents of Status of Forces Agreement personnel fall under Japanese jurisdiction. The parties involved have the option to report the incident to U.S. military or Japanese law enforcement, which was done in this case.
Following the previous incident, students at Kadena High School were given military Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Training that had been modified for them, school officials have said.
“The incident is under investigation, however, we have no reason to believe it is part of a trend,” an Air Force spokesman said of the most recent incident.