Two US sailors have admitted raping a Japanese woman in Okinawa last year. Both men admitted the charges, but deny premeditation.
The 23-year-old woman was reportedly walking home from work when she was approached by the sailors. The woman claims that she attempted to ignore the men, but was eventually dragged into a parking lot and raped. Authorities allege that both men assaulted and raped her for over an hour.
As reported by UPI, the sailors left the young women in the parking lot after taking $87 from her purse.
Petty Officer Skyler Dozierwalker and US Navy Seaman Christopher Browning were arrested in Okinawa last October on charges of “rape by group resulting in injury.” Both sailors, from of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Texas, were indicted last year and the case was scheduled for trial.
As reported by BBC, both men plead guilty in the Naha district court today. They will reportedly be sentenced on Friday.
The charges have increased tension in Okinawa, as residents continue to protest US military presence. Several incidents involving rape of young Japanese women by US soldiers have angered Japanese residents and officials.
Previous charges against US military in the area include the 1995 alleged gang rape of a 12-year-old girl, and the 2008 alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by a US Marine.
Japanese officials have imposed a mandatory curfew on US military personnel as a preventative measure. The curfew prohibits personnel from leaving the base between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am.
“We are committed to cooperating fully with the Japanese authorities in their investigation.”
The US sailors admitted the rape and plead guilty before the Japanese court. They will return for sentencing on March 1.