Kadena salesman accused in rape case skirts court questions
NAHA, Okinawa — The trial of Dag Allen Thompson continued here Tuesday with the defendant accusing the prosecutor of withholding evidence in the rape and burglary case.
The 40-minute court session began with both the prosecution and defense counsels discussing various exhibits of evidence, including a written statement by Thompson, about the alleged August 2004 rape in Chatan. Thompson, a former Marine and employee of Exchange New Car Sales on Kadena Air Base, is also being tried on burglary charges in the 2004 incident, as well as rape and burglary charges in a June 1998 incident in Naha.
During Tuesday’s proceedings in Naha District Court, prosecutor Masahisa Yokota read excerpts from Thompson’s statement describing what happened in 2004. Yokota described how Thompson admitted he went into a 21-year-old woman’s home and fondled her and engaged in oral sex, but he denied raping her.
During a Sept. 27 hearing, Thompson said he was promised lenient treatment if he admitted to the crime and that Yokota threatened to give out Thompson’s family’s address to the media, which would have subjected his wife and two children to the outrage of the local community. Thompson also accused Yokota of withholding a page from his October 2004 statement, in which he wrote that his confession was being given under duress, with a promise of being released from custody.
Yokota said Thompson confessed after being told his statement would keep the victim from going through the shame and humiliation of testifying in court.
Thompson upheld his claim of a missing page from his statement throughout Tuesday’s court session. After being put on the stand for questioning, Thompson said after Yokota’s first question: “As my defense attorney stated, I’m not going to answer any questions.”
But after Yokota’s second question, in which he asked Thompson if he entered the Chatan woman’s home and raped her, Thompson made a brief statement.
“I will say this — the prosecutor has submitted, and you’ve allowed him to submit, a statement I’ve made with a missing page,” Thompson said. He added that the missing page alters the meaning of the statement.
Yokota then asked several more questions about the 2004 and 1998 incidents. Thompson sat at the stand motionless, staring straight ahead and quiet after each question, resting his hands on his knees. Yokota would wait approximately 20 seconds before asking the next question.
After Yokota asked Thompson if he felt responsible for the crimes, Thompson again remarked about his signed statement.
“The prosecutor has withheld a full page from my statement, changing the meaning of my statement,” Thompson said. “And it was under very tortuous circumstances that I said anything.”
The last question of the day from Yokota was whether the accused felt he should apologize to the victims. Thompson again sat silently, staring straight ahead.
The next court session is scheduled for Dec. 27.