Marine questioned in alleged rape near Camp Hansen
Stars and Stripes June 14, 2003
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa — Okinawa police have questioned a 21-year-old Marine about an alleged May 25 rape, officials confirmed Thursday.
Marine Corps officials said they and the Marine — who was not identified — are fully cooperating with local police “to determine the facts and circumstances” surrounding the incident.
The incident reportedly occurred at about 3:30 a.m. in Kin, which is near Camp Hansen. On Thursday, Okinawa police refused to comment on the case.
No charges have been filed, and the Marine is not in police custody. Marine officials say the Marine is confined to base.
According to a Japanese television report, a police document said the Marine and a 19-year-old Japanese woman met at a bar in Kin.
She alleged the Marine hit her in the face and raped her in the yard of a nearby home. She reportedly notified a gate guard at the Marine camp.
“The type of behavior alleged is completely unacceptable,” said Marine Lt. Gen. Wallace C. Gregson, Okinawa area coordinator and commanding general of the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force. “We will assist the local authorities as much as possible. We sincerely regret the anxiety this incident has caused the local community.”
The incident overlaps a controversial — and convoluted — case involving Marine Maj. Michael Brown and Victoria Nakamine, a former officers club bar hostess. Brown, stationed at Camp Courtney and now on trial, pleaded innocent to charges filed against him after police said the woman accused him of attempted sexual assault.
In protracted Okinawan court proceedings over several months, both the major and hostess admitted they’d initially made false statements to police. Most recently, Brown’s lawyer told the court his client made a sexual advance — but only after arrangements had been made with the club manager for him to take the hostess out.
And Nakamine repeatedly testified she didn’t want to punish Brown and asked the court to throw out the case. The next hearing is set for Thursday.