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A Marine received a one-year suspended sentence for punching a police officer in the face Oct. 29, 2023, near a popular nightlife area on Okinawa.

A Marine received a one-year suspended sentence for punching a police officer in the face Oct. 29, 2023, near a popular nightlife area on Okinawa. (Pixabay)

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — A U.S. Marine has received a one-year suspended sentence for punching a police officer in the face last month near a popular nightlife area.

Cpl. Addison Moss, 21, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Naha District Court to inflicting injury and obstructing police for the assault in Okinawa city’s Uechi neighborhood, Okinawa Times reported Thursday.

A spokesman from Naha District Court reached by phone Monday would not confirm the guilty plea by the Marine, who serves as an air delivery specialist with 3rd Landing Support Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group at Camp Foster.

The victim, an unidentified officer in his 20s, received five stitches for a gash above his left eye, a spokesman for Okinawa prefectural police said last month. Moss was indicted Nov. 9, according to his charge sheet.

Police responded to a disturbance call shortly before Moss’ arrest at 1:39 a.m. Oct. 29, the spokesman said. Area residents had reported that foreigners were banging on their door.

Moss struck the officer as he attempted to question the Marine for suspicious behavior, according to the spokesman.

The Marine appeared drunk at the time of his arrest and a Breathalyzer detected alcohol, though police declined to release the results. They also declined to say whether Moss was a suspect in the disturbance.

On Wednesday, Moss stood before Judge Tetsuro Sato, the Naha District Court spokesman said. The verdict was delivered immediately.

Sato suspended Moss’ yearlong sentence for three years, meaning he will not serve jail time unless convicted of another crime in the country, the spokesman said.

Some government officials in Japan speak to the media on condition of anonymity as a requirement of their employment.

Moss faced up to 15 years in prison or a $3,300 fine, according to the Japanese penal code. Prosecutors had sought one year imprisonment, according to the Okinawa Times.

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Mari Higa is an Okinawa-based reporter/translator who joined Stars and Stripes in 2021. She previously worked as a research consultant and translator. She studied sociology at the University of Birmingham and Hitotsubashi University Graduate School of Social Sciences.
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Matthew M. Burke has been reporting from Okinawa for Stars and Stripes since 2014. The Massachusetts native and UMass Amherst alumnus previously covered Sasebo Naval Base and Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, for the newspaper. His work has also appeared in the Boston Globe, Cape Cod Times and other publications.

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