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Marine suspected of shoving Okinawa police officer has been arrested again

An Okinawa-based Marine accused of shoving a Japanese police officer last month was arrested again Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, on suspicion of indecent assault.

AKIFUMI ISHIKAWA/STARS AND STRIPES

By MATTHEW M. BURKE AND HANA KUSUMOTO | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 12, 2021

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa – An Okinawa-based Marine accused of shoving a Japanese police officer last month has been arrested again on suspicion of indecent assault.

Pfc. Marvin Earl James Jr., 24, a transmission systems operator with 3rd Marine Division at Camp Courtney, was initially taken into custody Jan. 31 on suspicion of interfering with public duties. He was still at Naha Police station Thursday when he was formally arrested again on a related matter.

A police spokesman alleged Friday that James forcibly tried to kiss a woman in a parking lot at about 5 a.m. Jan. 31. She threatened to call police and James fled, the spokesman said.

James was approached about an hour later by a responding police officer, who said James, walking alone in the Kumoji area of Naha, looked suspicious, a police spokesman said. The officer attempted to question James, who had been drinking, and James shoved him, the spokesman said.

Police at the time said James denied shoving the officer; a report in the Mainchi newspaper on Thursday said James also denies the indecent assault allegation.

Neither the officer nor the unidentified woman was injured, according to police.

Police referred the charge of interfering with public duties to the prosecutor’s office but have yet to forward an indecent assault charge.

If convicted of the interference charge, James faces up to three years in prison, with or without hard labor, or up to $5,000 in fines, according to the Japanese penal code. A conviction of indecent assault brings six months to 10 years with hard labor.

A spokesman for Marine Corps Installations Pacific said the service is cooperating with local authorities on James’ case.

“We take every instance of misconduct seriously,” 1st Lt. Timothy Hayes wrote in an email Feb. 2 to Stars and Stripes.

“These actions undermine the core values of the Marine Corps and are not tolerated on or off duty,” he said. “The command will address any substantiated misconduct at the appropriate judicial or administrative level.”

burke.matt@stripes.com
Twitter: @MatthewMBurke1

kusumoto.hana@stripes.com
Twitter: @HanaKusumoto