Yokota sergeant gets 21 years for daughter's rape
Stars and Stripes June 11, 2003
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Force technical sergeant convicted of raping his daughter was sentenced Monday to 21 years’ confinement. Without parole, he will be 65 when released from federal prison.
The seven-officer jury deliberated for about two hours before voting on a sentence that included a dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to E-1 and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
The sergeant appeared stoic when jurors announced the sentence. The 374th Communications Squadron member did not testify at the hearing, but his written, unsworn statement was delivered to jurors before they began deliberating.
The defense team refused Stripes’ request for a copy of the document.
During sentencing arguments, Capt. John Harwood, co-trial counsel for the government, said the sergeant, in the statement, expressed sympathy for the victim and described how badly he felt for his family.
Harwood told jurors not to be deceived by those words.
The divorced sergeant has lived at Yokota since November 1999. On Saturday, he was convicted of raping his daughter when she was 14; carnal knowledge on various occasions; possessing child pornography; and committing indecent acts. He pleaded guilty last week to secretly videotaping his daughter while she changed clothes in her room.
Prosecutors asked for 30 years of confinement; the maximum sentence on a rape conviction is life in prison without parole. The defense argued that seven to 10 years in jail was a more appropriate punishment.
Capt. Michael Carrasco, former area defense counsel at Yokota, told the jury to consider the defendant’s 19-year military career, which included a stint at Yongsan Garrison near the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, and his client’s long bout with alcoholism.
The sergeant was expected to begin confinement almost immediately.
The sergeant’s two teenage sons live with a paternal aunt in the United States. The victim, now 21, resides with her active-duty husband in Maryland.
Her husband, an Air Force senior airman, testified Monday that the allegations and subsequent investigation have caused a tremendous strain on their year-old marriage. The husband reported the crimes last summer against the wishes of his wife.