Article 32 hearing for alleged child rape begins
January 8, 2009
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A Yokota technical sergeant faced an Article 32 hearing Tuesday over allegations he sexually abused two young girls, including his own daughter on three separate occasions, according to recorded testimony played in court.
The airman is charged with rape of a child under age 12, aggravated sexual contact with a child under 12, indecent acts with a child and possession of child pornography.
He also is accused of violating a no-contact order twice and of conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.
The crimes allegedly took place between 2005 and 2008, base officials have said.
The airman is not being named to protect the identity of the alleged victims, in accordance with Stars and Stripes policy.
During Tuesday’s hearing, videotaped interviews of the two girls in March were shown in court.
The allegations surfaced last March at Yokota shortly after the daughter’s friend, who was 5 at the time, told her own mother about an incident that happened during a sleepover at the airman’s house. A hourlong videotaped interview with the friend was played in court.
No other evidence was presented Tuesday by the prosecution or defense. In a closed-door session, however, the parties viewed numerous images of child pornography that allegedly had been stored on the technical sergeant’s home computer.
An Article 32 is similar to a grand jury proceeding under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Capt. Jeremy Anderson, the 5th Air Force’s chief of civil law and the Article 32 investigating officer, is expected to determine within two days if there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a court-martial.