Trial set for Marine major in rape case
NAHA, Okinawa — A Japanese court will begin hearings next month in connection with rape charges against a Marine officer.
Naha District Court set Feb. 13 as the trial start date for Marine Maj. Michael Brown, accused of a Nov. 2 attempted rape of a foreign national living on Okinawa.
The woman accused Brown of trying to rape her in her car between 1:30 a.m. and 1:50 a.m., Japanese police said.
Brown, assigned to Camp Courtney, denied the charges but admitted to being with the woman, who is a base employee.
Brown, 39, turned himself in to Japanese authorities Dec. 19, three hours after he was indicted on the attempted rape charge and another charge of destruction of private property.
The alleged victim accused Brown of directing her down a deserted road near the base and then attempting to rape her. She also alleged Brown destroyed her cell phone during a struggle.
Brown countered that the woman propositioned him for sex and the phone was broken when he struggled with her as she grabbed his wallet.
Brown was denied bail Dec. 24. Judge Yayoi Ikeda cited concerns that if released, Brown might try to destroy evidence or intimidate witnesses. The Marine’s attorney, Masayuki Akamine, again filed a motion Tuesday for his release.
Akamine said Brown has agreed to detention in the Camp Hansen brig until his trial date. He added that filing a second bail request, even after an initial request has been denied, is not uncommon in Japanese court.
Akamine said if this request also is denied, he plans to appeal the Fukuoka High Court Naha Branch.