Subscribe

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Japanese police have arrested a 47-year-old Navy sailor they accuse of molesting a Japanese schoolgirl in a train station plaza near Yokosuka Naval Base.

Petty Officer 2nd Class Danny J. Valerie, an engineman at the base’s Fleet and Industrial Supply Center, was arrested Wednesday. He’s charged with indecent assault through compulsion, said a spokesman for the Kanagawa Prefectural Police in Yokosuka. Valerie is accused of forcing himself against a 15-year-old high school student, the spokesman said.

The sailor allegedly approached the girl about 8 p.m. as she sat on a bench near Yokosuka Chuo Train station with two other female students, the spokesman said, adding that the sailor is accused of forcing himself against her, touching her buttocks and kissing her. The spokesman said Valerie appeared to be intoxicated at the time.

The high school student used her cellular phone to call the police, who arrived and arrested Valerie, the spokesman said.

Valerie remained in Japanese custody Thursday. His case was to be referred to the Kanagawa District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Friday, the spokesman said.

Japanese law sets the maximum punishment for molestation/compulsive indecent conduct at seven years in prison.

The Navy regrets the incident and is working with the Japanese police on the investigation, said Jon Nylander, spokesman, Commander, Naval Forces Japan.

“We’re committed to a full accounting of the event,” Nylander said.

Nylander said Navy policy prevents confirming the sailor’s name or whether alcohol was involved before a formal charge has been filed or the investigation is complete.

As of Thursday afternoon, the Navy had received no formal complaints about the matter and had no plans to restrict liberty for the rest of Yokosuka’s military population, he said.

All of Yokosuka’s sea-command sailors currently face a 1 a.m. “off the streets” curfew, and a policy restricting public drinking during certain hours was put in place after several alcohol-related incidents in the beginning of the year, including the Jan. 3 robbery-murder of a Japanese woman by a USS Kitty Hawk airman.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now