Dismissal of one case sought in Okinawa rape, burglary trial
February 17, 2005
NAHA, Okinawa — The second hearing in the double rape case against a former Marine and Kadena Air Base new car salesman ended early Tuesday after the defense moved to dismiss one of the cases of rape and burglary.
Toshimitsu Takaesu argued that the prosecutor in that case against Dag Allen Thompson failed to notify U.S. authorities of his intent to take jurisdiction of the case involving an American in Japan under the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. At the time he was charged, Thompson was an employee of Exchange New Car Sales on Kadena Air Base.
The prosecutor claimed the crime was committed before Thompson gained SOFA status.
Thompson is accused of sneaking into a Chatan woman’s home on Aug. 22 and raping her. A saliva swab taken from Thompson after his arrest on Oct. 15 allegedly connected him to the June 13, 1998, rape of a 27-year-old woman in Naha, the prosecutor claimed in a previous hearing.
Thompson, who served with the Marines on Okinawa in 1989, married an Okinawan woman and was discharged in 1994, according to statements made by the prosecutor at a hearing in January. He returned from the States with his wife and children to Okinawa in December 1997, settling in Naha. He did not get a job with SOFA status until July 1998, according to the prosecutor.
In the defense motion to dismiss the 1998 charges, Takaesu also argued that they were filed with the intent to prejudice the three-judge panel hearing the cases.
“It was charged merely to make it seem like he had a prior instance of rape under similar circumstances,” Takaesu argued. “In the same manner, the prosecutor’s statement that the defendant was living with another woman not his wife was used just to prejudice the panel, to create an impression that the accused is someone always chasing women.”
The written motion alleged that “the intention of the prosecutor was to give the court the preconceived idea that the defendant was a habitual sexual offender.”
Thompson has been in solitary confinement at the Naha Detention Center since he was indicted in December. He was led into the courtroom Tuesday by two guards, one of them holding a rope that was tied around Thompson’s waist.
Thompson’s hands were cuffed in front of him, and the restraints were removed only after the judges entered the courtroom. He sat between the guards on a bench in front of the defense table, listening intently to the English translation of the proceedings.
The judges are to rule on the motion to dismiss the second rape and burglary case before the next court date, set for March 3.
The trial is expected to last through the end of May with court dates set twice a month.
Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.