Japanese Court Convicts 2 U.S. Sailors in Okinawa Rape

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TOKYO -- A Japanese court sentenced two United States Navy sailors to lengthy terms on Friday after they pleaded guilty to the rape of a woman on Okinawa last year, a case that outraged local residents and forced the American military to impose a curfew on all its personnel in Japan.

The court in Naha, the capital of Okinawa, sentenced one sailor, Christopher Browning, 24, to 10 years in prison, and the other, Skyler Dozierwalker, 23, a petty officer third class, to nine years for the October 2012 rape. The court also convicted Mr. Browning of robbing the victim of 7,000 yen, or about $75. The two will serve their time in a Japanese prison.

The court ruled that the men had attacked the woman in a parking lot in central Okinawa, inflicting physical injuries that took two weeks to heal.

In handing down the sentence, the presiding judge, Hideyuki Suzuki, called the Americans' actions "contemptible and violent."

Fury when the rape occurred built on protests over the deployment of a new aircraft shadowed by safety concerns, the tilt-rotor MV-22 Osprey.

Okinawa is the host to more than half of the approximately 50,000 United States military personnel in Japan, and residents have long complained that the American presence brings crime as well as noise pollution and safety hazards to their otherwise peaceful tropical island in Japan's southwest.


This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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