Sexual assault case should be dismissed, Marine's lawyer says
Stars and Stripes June 6, 2003
NAHA, Okinawa — Marine Maj. Michael Brown’s defense attorney again pleaded his client’s innocence during a Wednesday hearing and urged the three-judge panel at the Naha District Court to dismiss the sexual assault case against him.
Toshimitsu Takaesu asserted that the testimony of Brown’s accuser during the past three court sessions proved there was no crime.
“It was evident that she had no intention to prosecute him because there was no such a fact of attempted rape,” he said. “This case originally started from a false report Victoria Nakamine made to the military police. Because Okinawa police began investigation based on the false claim she made, attempted rape, which did not actually exist, began to exist.”
But in his opening remarks Wednesday, Takaesu said Brown also made a false statement to police. Brown had contended all along it was the woman who made sexual advances and she became angry when he refused her.
Takaesu’s opening statement, read before the judges, revealed that Brown, upon a suggestion by the club manager to take her out, waited for her in the parking lot outside the Camp Courtney club. While he waited for her to come out, a Marine captain offered him a ride, but he refused it because he planned to take her out, Takaesu said.
“These are material evidences that prior consent was made between Brown and the club manager,” Takaesu said. “But these facts were intentionally omitted from the police statement, a clear evidence that the police fabricated the case.”
When Brown and Nakamine reached a remote area near the base, he made advances, Takaesu said. She resisted and threatened to call the police. Brown then snatched her cell phone, throwing it on the ground, he added.
After realizing the investigation was proceeding on the assumption he was guilty, Brown thought the police would never believe his side of the story, which led him to make the false statement, Takaesu explained to the judges.
Takaesu said Brown told him “the helplessness and despair he had experienced were like those of a patient with terminal cancer.”
In the past three court sessions, Nakamine testified she did not want to punish Brown, asking the court to toss out the case. Her testimony turned the tide of the case.
Brown was granted bail May 16, after the fifth request by his defense. The next hearing is set for June 19.