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Sailor pays fine after admitting to groping women post-curfew

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS George Washington sailor was fined 300,000 yen ($3,209) by a Yokosuka court Tuesday for groping two women.

The petty officer 1st class, 31, was found guilty of disturbing public peace after admitting to touching the women after drinking, local court and police officials said.

The sailor’s name was not released because he was never formally arrested, Yokosuka police said.

Police referred the case to the prosecutors’ office without taking him into custody after he confessed and cooperated with the investigation, a Yokosuka police spokesman said last month.

Police said the sailor inappropriately touched a 20-year-old woman about 11:20 p.m. on Jan. 4 on a Yokosuka street. An hour later, police said the sailor hugged a 53-year-old woman from behind, touching around her breasts.

Police then found the sailor, who admitted to the allegations and registered a 0.06 blood alcohol level following a breath test.

The sailor would also have violated the 11 p.m.-5 a.m. curfew in force at the time for all U.S. servicemembers in Japan. The curfew was imposed in October, shortly after the alleged rape of a woman on Okinawa by two sailors.

On Feb. 15, U.S. Forces Japan pushed back the start of the curfew by an hour for those in the grades of E1-E5 and dropped the restriction for other ranks. All servicemembers in mainland Japan are barred from drinking in public from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. That prohibition is in effect at all times on Okinawa.

Stars and Stripes reporter Hana Kusumoto contributed to this report.

slavine@pstripes.osd.mil

Twitter: @eslavin_stripes

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