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A Camp Zama civilian employee accused of sexual assault in the workplace was released from Japanese custody Wednesday after the Yokohama District Prosecutors Office in Sagamihara dropped the case due to insufficient evidence, a spokesman said.

Cary Dugan, 43, who works for U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Japan, spent 21 days at the Zama City Police Detention Center following his Jan. 11 arrest on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 38-year-old Japanese female co-worker in December 2004.

Dugan, who has returned home, said Friday he’s uncertain what the Army has planned and believes the investigation is ongoing. He maintains his innocence but declined to speak in detail about the allegations.

“I’ve been told the investigation is still going on,” he said. “That’s why I can’t say a lot about it right now.”

Ed Roper, a U.S. Army Garrison Japan spokesman who was in southwestern Japan for the Yama Sakura bilateral training exercise, said Friday no decision has been made on the next course of action for Dugan.

He couldn’t confirm whether there’s an ongoing investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Command agents.

Under the Status of Forces Agreement, Japanese authorities have jurisdiction over U.S. civilian workers suspected of criminal activity since they can’t be tried under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Dugan said he was placed on absent-without-leave status after his arrest, but MEDAC-Japan officials later allowed him to use annual leave.

He’s returning to work Monday in a reduced capacity until the case is resolved.

On the day of the incident, Dugan allegedly hugged the woman from behind in his office and touched her breasts, a Zama City police spokesman said last month.

“I don’t want to go out and say a whole lot. One of the stipulations is I have to keep quiet about this until the investigation is over,” Dugan said, adding he’d tell his side of the story at an appropriate date.

Camp Zama officials said the case was slow to surface because the alleged victim didn’t immediately come forward.

It emerged only when another medical unit worker overheard an office conversation and informed supervisors.

The woman spoke with base officials about it in August and an investigation was launched.

The Army reported the incident to Zama City authorities on Nov. 11.

Stars and Stripes reporter Hana Kusumoto contributed to this story.


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