Iwakuni Marine denies he was seeking to rape
A Japan-based U.S. Marine testified in Japanese court Thursday that he did not plan to rape a 53-year-old Japanese woman when he attacked her last year but that his desire to commit a sexual assault intensified after he knocked her to the ground.
Pfc. William E. McIntosh, 22, from Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station’s Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, pleaded guilty Jan. 15 to attempted rape but denied battering the woman during the Aug. 1 attack.
Japanese authorities took McIntosh into custody Nov. 21 following his indictment by the Yamaguchi Prefecture Public Prosecutor’s Office on charges of attempted rape resulting in bodily injury.
McIntosh maintains he did not intend to rape the woman, defense lawyer Tomoyuki Morishige told Stripes on Thursday afternoon.
Morishige said he’ll try to “verify” that position when McIntosh testifies in the next hearing.
The indictment contends that:
McIntosh grabbed the woman at about 3 a.m. as she walked home alone and held her “by the neck with both hands” to prevent her from resisting. After he knocked her to the ground in the parking lot of an off-base dental clinic, he hit her in the face with his fists. McIntosh “then seemed to have a sudden attack of guilt for what he was doing and stopped,” but followed her for about a block and began hitting her again.
Morishige said both parties agreed to a solatium, a small amount of money considered as a gesture to show sincere apologies and sympathy to the victim.
McIntosh agreed to pay 200,000 yen, or about $1,900, to the victim, said Morishige.
McIntosh’s lawyer said the accusations in the indictment were different from those McIntosh remembered but the Marine decided not to argue about details, such as striking the woman, to avoid the need to bring her to court for questioning.
McIntosh’s next trial session is set for Feb. 26 at 10:30 a.m., when the case is expected to conclude, Morishige explained. Sentencing then would occur sometime next month.
Meanwhile, Cpl. Joseph P. Benoit, 22, and Lance Cpl. Nathan J. Schuermann, 22, both attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, were slated to appear at their first trial session Friday at 10 a.m.
Benoit and Schuermann allegedly attacked two 22-year-old Japanese women from Hiroshima in April in Iwakuni, according to the prosecutor’s indictment formally issued on Oct. 14.
Benoit and Schuermann are being tried together.
Following such incidents involving Iwakuni personnel, on Jan. 13 the base commander ordered a curfew requiring all servicemembers — even those living off-base — to either be on base or in their quarters in town from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m. The curfew was rescinded Wednesday.