American charged with rape, burglary on Okinawa will remain in solitary
February 27, 2005
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A Japanese appeals court in Naha on Friday ruled an American charged with two counts each of rape and burglary will continue to be held without visitation rights.
For the past four months, the only contact Dag Allen Thompson has had with the outside world is the occasional visit from his lawyer, Toshimitsu Takaesu.
Thompson is being held in solitary confinement in the Naha Detention Center. He hasn’t been allowed phone calls or correspondence with his wife and three children, or his sister, who has flown to Okinawa from Colorado.
Thompson, 31, a former Marine and car salesman on Kadena Air Base, is charged with breaking into the home of a 21-year-old Chatan woman on Aug. 22 and raping her. His October arrest led to a second pair of charges stemming from a burglary and rape of a 27-year-old woman in Naha.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his next hearing is Thursday in Naha District Court.
Originally, the court ruled contact with Thompson by an outside party might taint the prosecutor’s case.
On Tuesday the court, ruling on a motion by Takaesu, granted Thompson’s sister, Spring Reddick, permission to visit her brother. But that was withdrawn an hour later when the prosecutor filed an appeal and was issued an injunction against the visit. The appeals court upheld the restriction Friday.
Takaesu, a former Okinawa prosecutor, called restrictions imposed by Naha District Prosecutor Masahisa Yokota “inhumane.”
Reddick said she was shocked at her brother’s appearance during the last hearing, when he walked into court shackled and tethered by a rope around his waist to two guards.
“He has changed dramatically,” she said. “He has lost a great deal of weight and his hair has turned gray. He looks like he has aged 20 years.”
She said she was also concerned about her brother’s Okinawan wife and three children.
She is also upset that Thompson’s American attorney, Michael Griffith, has not been allowed to visit her brother.
Griffith is a New York lawyer who specializes in defending Americans charged with crimes overseas.
“We’re doing everything we can, but the court still hasn’t accepted me as a co-counsel,” Griffith said in a telephone interview last week. “But what is really outrageous is not allowing the sister to visit.”
Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.