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A Marine who pleaded guilty to attempted rape resulting in bodily injury warned fellow servicemembers at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station that the criminal act he committed had far broader impact than he would have imagined.

After the Aug. 1 attempted rape of a 53-year-old Japanese woman, Pfc. William E. McIntosh, a Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron administrative clerk, spent four months in the on-base military detention facility. Japanese authorities took him into custody Nov. 21, following his indictment by the Yamaguchi Prefecture Public Prosecutor’s Office. He then spent almost four months in Tokuyama Detention House awaiting his trial’s completion. On March 18, a Japanese court sentenced him to three years’ hard labor, suspended for four years. McIntosh was returned to his squadron, where he awaits separation from the Marine Corps.

“I didn’t realize the impact I alone could make on the community,” McIntosh was quoted as saying in a base news report earlier this month. “I created an international incident and that was the furthest from my mind.”

Base spokesman Capt. Stewart Upton said McIntosh was unavailable to talk with Stars and Stripes on Monday.

“When I sat in jail, all I could think about is what I would do if that were my daughter. When I see my daughter’s face and someone like me, well it’s definitely a gut check,” he said.

The convicted Marine said he doesn’t want his fellow servicemembers to sit in a cell, surrounded by animosity from Japanese prisoners and guards because he hurt one of “theirs,” the base report stated. “It was the loneliest time of my life.”

He said looking in a mirror and “realizing that person you hear about is you” is hard. “Sometimes it makes you not want to look again.

“I don’t want to relive it, but I have to let the other guys know,” the 22-year-old said. “It is important for them to realize that they need to have a liberty buddy, no matter what rank they are, and they need to listen to them.”

Marines in Iwakuni are required to have liberty buddies when they go off base. The night of the crime, McIntosh was drunk and argued with his friends, who left him on his own. From that point, he recalls making several “stupid” decisions.

“When you go out with your liberty buddy, it is like you signed a contract,” he said. “It’s almost like the battlefield: Don’t leave each other.”

McIntosh said in the base paper his actions will affect his life. If he has to undergo a background check for a job, “this will affect me. I have to go to any job I get and think, who am I going to offend just being here?”

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