Accused rapist calls Okinawa prosecutor a liar in court
September 29, 2005
NAHA, Okinawa — Dag Allen Thompson called the prosecutor of his case a liar Tuesday, accusing the lawyer of intimidating him into writing a statement admitting his involvement in an August 2004 rape in Chatan.
Thompson, on trial on charges of rape and burglary, said he was promised lenient treatment if he admitted to the crime during an Oct. 16 interrogation session.
In the statement, he admitted to going into a 21-year-old woman’s home in the early morning hours and accosting her while she was in bed. He said he fondled her and engaged in oral sex but denied raping her.
During a two-hour sparring session with prosecutor Masahisa Yokota in Naha District Court, Thompson said Yokota threatened to leak the address of Thompson’s Okinawan wife to the press, opening her and their two children to the wrath of an Okinawa community outraged about the crime.
Yokota said Thompson wrote the confession after he was told admitting the crime would save the victim from having to go through the shame and humiliation of testifying in court.
“Mr. Yokota, sir, you are a liar,” Thompson said.
Thompson, 31, a former Marine and employee of Exchange New Car Sales at Kadena Air Base, was arrested Oct. 15 after the Chatan woman identified him as the person who attacked her while she slept. She said she got a good look at his face by the light of her cell phone.
He also is charged with rape and burglary in a June 1998 incident in Naha. Yokota contends DNA samples taken from Thompson matched DNA taken at both rape scenes.
Thompson has pleaded not guilty to burglary and rape charges in connection with both incidents.
He also accused Yokota of introducing as evidence only the second page of the statement he made at the Oct. 16 interrogation. He said he clearly wrote on the statement’s first page that he was writing it under duress and with a promise he would be released from custody.
“A lot of it was not true,” Thompson said. “I just wanted to get out. He had said I could go and I just wanted to get my own lawyer and do what I needed to do. This was not done under my own free will.”
Thompson said Yokota ignored numerous requests for a lawyer to be present during his interrogation, telling him the laws were different in Japan.
Takashi Takano, a criminal law professor at Waseda University Law School in Tokyo, was asked previously, in connection with the Thompson case, about a suspect’s rights to see a lawyer during questioning.
Unless a suspect requests a specific lawyer, Takano said, “there is no obligation for police or prosecutor to let the suspect contact a counselor.”
Thompson, who has been in jail since his October arrest, said he was not physically abused during the interrogation session. But he was worn down, he claimed, from hours of being yelled at by Yokota in a small room with four other people. Thompson said he had one hand cuffed to a chair the whole time.
“I repeatedly, repeatedly told Mr. Yokota several times that I did not want to sign a statement,” Thompson said.
The next court session is scheduled for Nov. 1.
Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.