Camp Foster Marine avoids jail after mugging
September 26, 2003
NAHA, Okinawa — A Camp Foster Marine was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for mugging a 19-year-old Okinawa man in May.
But Pvt. 1st Class Jake Boyer, 20, of Headquarters and Service Battalion, won’t serve any prison time.
Naha District Court Judge Masashi Kurihara suspended the prison term for four years — a year longer than the sentence he issued — on condition of good behavior.
Boyer previously pleaded guilty to attacking Tetsuya Tanaka, of Okinawa City, on a back street in a bar district near Kadena Air Base Gate 2.
During the sentencing, Kurihara said Boyer and Lance Cpl. Michael Enriquez, 21, of the same battalion, conspired to assault Tanaka just after midnight May 2, attacking him from behind. After knocking him to the ground, they kicked him in the head and back and then stole 500 yen (about $4.40) and a bandana.
“Together with his accomplice, he attacked a defenseless, total stranger,” Kurihara said. “They even chased the victim into a deserted alley at midnight and further attacked him.”
The nature of the crime was extremely vicious and the fear the victim had experienced was immeasurable, he said.
“There is no extenuating reason for this attack,” he said. “However, he frankly confessed his guilt, expressed his repentance and paid 50,000 yen [about $450] compensation to the victim.
“The court also considered that the defendant was 19 years old at the time of committing the crime, and that he had no previous conviction.”
Under Japanese law, a person younger than 20 is considered a minor. Boyer was first sent to Naha Family Court before the case was forwarded in June to district court.
Enriquez was sentenced in August to three years in prison, also suspended for four years.
“We decided to suspend the execution of the prison term with expectation that you would pull yourself together and strive to become a good, law-abiding citizen,” Kurihara told Boyer before closing the hearing.