YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A USS George Washington sailor faces an indecent assault charge after prosecutors on Friday dropped a separate assault charge stemming from the same incident.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jon Riley Canfield, 22, was re-arrested by Kanagawa police for allegedly assaulting a 24-year-old Japanese woman in a building near Yokohama train station on Jan. 21, a Tobe district police spokesman said Monday.
Police forwarded the new charge for consideration to the Yokohama District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Sunday.
Police now accuse Canfield of grabbing the woman by the shoulders, touching her chest and pressing her against a wall.
On Jan. 22, police acknowledged there had been an incident involving the woman, but only pursued charges against Canfield for allegedly punching a 28-year-old Japanese man afterward.
A Yokohama prosecutor’s office spokeswoman declined to comment Monday on why they dropped the initial assault charge. The man who police say Canfield hit sustained minor injuries and later turned the sailor over to police.
Japanese police said Canfield registered a 0.12 blood alcohol level in a breath test that was administered shortly after his arrest.
Incidents involving U.S. servicemembers have come under increased political and media scrutiny since an alleged rape in October involving two Texas-based sailors in Okinawa spurred protests. Shortly afterward, military officials imposed an 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew on all servicemembers in Japan.
Stars and Stripes reporter Hana Kusumoto contributed to this report.