Report: Marines won’t be charged with rape
October 28, 2007
Four Marines accused of gang-raping a Japanese woman were still in confinement Friday at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni despite unconfirmed reports they will not be charged by Japanese police.
Hiroshima investigators found ambiguities in the woman’s statements and will not seek arrest warrants for the Marines, according to the Kyodo News service, which cited anonymous sources.
However, Hiroshima police declined to comment on the report Friday afternoon, and U.S. Forces Japan said it had no new information to release.
Iwakuni air station officials referred all queries to Japanese authorities.
A week ago, Hiroshima police verified they were looking into a woman’s allegation that four men attacked and raped her in a Hiroshima city neighborhood during the early morning hours of Oct. 14.
While military police continue to cooperate in the investigation, the Marines were confined to cells at the base police station, where they remained Friday afternoon, said Maj. Guillermo Canedo, spokesman at the air station.
“The four Marines remain in confinement here,” Canedo wrote in an e-mail response to Stars and Stripes. “We are cooperating fully with local authorities.”
A midnight curfew for all active-duty servicemembers at the Iwakuni base was also still in place Friday, according to Canedo.
The base commander instated the curfew last week following the rape accusations and a report that a drunken Marine threw a bottle at a taxi in Iwakuni.
Hiroshima Prefecture police and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service have been working jointly on the case. Japanese media reports, citing unnamed police sources, said the police have not issued warrants for the arrest of the Marines because of “uncertainties” in the 19-year-old woman’s allegations.
Hana Kusumoto contributed to this story.