Brown’s clothes disputed in Naha Marine rape trial
NAHA, Okinawa — Attorneys in the attempted rape trial of Marine Maj. Michael Brown haggled Friday over evidence the defense wants to present March 1.
The most damaging evidence to the prosecution’s case appeared to be photos of clothing Brown said he wore the night Victoria Nakamine, a Filipina barmaid from the Camp Courtney Officers’ Club, originally said Brown attacked her.
The clothing in the photos does not match Nakamine’s description of the clothes worn by the man she told Okinawa police had attacked her on a dimly lit road along the Tengan River on Nov. 2, 2002.
Defense attorney Toshimitsu Takaesu contends Nakamine, 41, knew Brown and never intended to charge him with a crime. Her intent in filing a police report was to get someone to pay for the destruction of the cellular phone, which she said was thrown into the river when she threatened to call police.
But the case spiraled out of control when, after reporting the incident to guards at Camp Courtney’s main gate, they told her to call Okinawa police, Takaesu has alleged.
Brown, 41, is assigned to the command element of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. He was indicted Dec. 19, 2002, and pleaded not guilty to both charges.
When Nakamine testified via closed-circuit television in May, she recanted her story and said police and prosecutors tricked her into filing charges against Brown. She said whatever took place in her car the night of the incident was consensual, and when she asked Brown to stop he apologized and left.
The prosecution contends Nakamine had every intention of proceeding with the charges until just before she testified. Prosecutor Tsuyoshi Satake has argued that the three-judge panel hearing the case should consider her statements made immediately after the incident with the same weight as her courtroom testimony.