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NAHA, Okinawa — Kevin Parks’ mother testified Thursday that it was just a coincidence she checked her son into a psychiatric unit hours after he beat and raped a sex-shop worker in Okinawa City on Oct. 1.

Capt. Wanda Parks, an Air Force nurse on Kadena Air Base, told the three-judge panel in Naha District Court on Thursday that she had been seeking help for her son before he moved to Okinawa in February 2006.

Kevin Parks’ mental condition was the focus of the four-hour hearing. On Tuesday, he pleaded guilty to a charge of rape involving injury.

Capt. Parks said her 22-year-old son had been depressed since setting out to live on his own in Arizona after he graduated from high school. He tried to make it as a rap musician but had difficulty making ends meet, she told the court.

A brief stay with his biological father, whom he had not previously met, had turned into a disaster and Parks begged to join her, his stepfather and step-siblings on Okinawa, she said.

She said she had him go to the Kadena Mental Health Clinic as an outpatient when he arrived, where a doctor prescribed the antidepressant drug Prozac. But there was no follow-up treatment, she said.

By last September, his mood swings and depression were so marked that his mother made plans to have him treated at the U.S. Naval Hospital on Camp Lester, she said.

“He was talking incoherently, pacing, anxious,” Capt. Parks said. “He kept talking about hearing voices.”

She heard about the rape when police officers came to their Kadena base home Oct. 9, she said. The officers were surprised to learn Kevin Parks’ bags were packed and he was to leave for the United States the next day.

“We were preparing to take him to a hospital in the United States,” she said. “We did not know about the trouble he got into. We intended to put him to a facility for further treatment.”

She stoically looked forward as she testified, not acknowledging her son’s behavior on a nearby bench.

“What I see is that he has gotten worse,” she said as her son sobbed, then smiled broadly and laughed to himself.

She said she had “no idea” why her son raped the woman.

“I’m shocked, and I can’t believe he did it,” she said.

Later, when Kevin Parks took the stand, he admitted he hit the prostitute in the face with a beer bottle, punched her several times and then choked her and crammed his fist into her mouth.

Then he raped her, he said.

“The devil was saying, ‘Kill her, kill her. Then have sex with her when she’s dead,’” Parks said. “But once I felt her blood I came back to reality and God got in my head and God said, ‘Thy shalt not kill.’”

At times, Kevin Parks ranted so incoherently that his lawyer asked him to compose himself and limit his remarks to answering the questions.

His defense lawyer, Yasuhisa Kinukawa, asked Parks why he laughed and cried when his mom was on the stand.

“Because I know the outcome of the whole situation,” Kevin Parks said. “I believe I’m going home today.”

He pointed at each of the three judges sitting before him.

“If you believe I’m guilty you can hit me with a bottle, and I can walk out of here all bloody and be with my family,” he said. “You’re the ringmaster and this is the dark carnival.”

Kevin Parks remains incarcerated at the Naha Detention Center. His next hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5.

Stars and Stripes reporter Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.

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