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Bonhomme Richard sailors under investigation for alleged sex assault

SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — Two Navy sailors from the Sasebo-based amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard are being investigated for an alleged off-base sexual assault on a Japanese woman, Navy officials said Monday.

The sailors have not been charged and no formal complaint has been filed. The incident is alleged to have occurred May 14, according to Charles Howard, a spokesman for Sasebo Naval Base, who said the Navy is working with Japanese authorities to investigate it.

“Although this is an accusation and the individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty, we cannot convey strongly enough that sexual assault is a crime that will not be tolerated in the U.S. Navy,” Howard wrote in an email to Stars and Stripes. “We demand the highest standards of conduct of all our Navy affiliated personnel at all times.”

news@stripes.com

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