Judge allows plaintiff’s letter absolving Brown
By DAVID ALLEN AND CHIYOMI SUMIDA | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 5, 2004
NAHA, Okinawa — Victoria Nakamine came to the defense Wednesday of the man she accused of attempting to rape her 16 months ago.
The three-judge panel hearing the case in Naha District Court accepted as evidence a letter Nakamine wrote in May pleading to have the charges dropped against Marine Maj. Michael Brown.
Nakamine, 41, wrote the letter the day before she took the stand to testify for the prosecution.
At the time, the court took the letter — in which Nakamine states she didn’t have the intention of punishing Brown — under advisement, but ordered her to testify. During her May testimony via closed-circuit television, she said she had been coerced by police, prosecutors and her employer, an agency that provides temporary workers for Marine Corps bases on Okinawa, to file the charges.
Brown is accused of attempting to rape her early Nov. 2, 2002, after she drove him to his home in Gushikawa after the Camp Courtney Officers Club closed. Nakamine worked in the club as a waitress and cashier.
In original police statements she said Brown attacked her when she parked the car to talk and threw her cellular phone out of the car and into the Tengen River when she threatened to call police.
But that’s was not what really happened, she stated in the 11-page, handwritten letter.
“The criminal complaint was not based on my voluntary will and the police and the prosecutor know it,” she wrote. She said her statements were “mainly exaggerated or created by the policemen.”
“Most of the act done by Brown is [sic] under my consent,” she wrote.
She said officials of the company she worked for, Plenty Staff, gave her 150,000 yen, about $1,300, and advised her to file a complaint against Brown. She said she was told that she would be able to collect compensation from Brown only if she filed charges.
“The company is pushing me to file a complaint,” she wrote. “If I reject it I may lose my job. It is another worry.”
Brown, a 20-year Marine veteran, was indicted Dec. 19 and held in the Naha Detention Center until bail was granted after Nakamine recanted her story on the stand in May. He is now restricted to Camp Courtney.
Nakamine wrote that she consistently told prosecutors that she did not want to press charges and was ignored.
“My little mistake caused a big problem,” she concluded.
Also accepted as evidence Thursday were two affidavits Nakamine provided to Brown’s defense attorneys in July and September.
Her answers to the questions asked by defense attorney Toshimitsu Takaesu repeated her complaint concerning police, prosecutors and her employer.
“I have never thought to put Major Brown into prison,” she wrote. She also wrote that testimony by Plenty Staff attorney Satoshi Kawamitsu during earlier hearings were lies.
“Attorney Kawamitsu testified that I made power of attorney to represent me,” she wrote. “But I did not make any paper.”
“I had already made up my mind to tell the truth,” she said. “The truth is, Major Brown never tried to rape me.”