US sailors jailed in Japan for rape

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 01, 2013 17:20 hrs

Tokyo, Mar 1 (IANS) Two US sailors have been sentenced to prison for the rape of a Japanese woman in Okinawa, BBC reported Friday.

The Naha district court handed Christopher Browning 10 years in jail and Skyler Dozierwalker nine years.

In his verdict, the judge said the men were "contemptible and violent".

The incident in October 2012 exacerbated resentment of the US military presence on the island and resulted in a curfew for US troops, BBC said.

Browning, 24, and Dozierwalker, 23, pleaded guilty Tuesday.

Prosecutors initially asked for a 12-year sentence for Browning, who also stole money from the victim.

"The ruling may seem severe, but the damage to the feelings of the victim and residents is more severe," BBC quoted Judge Hideyuki Suzuki as saying.

In the wake of the attack, the Okinawa legislature passed a protest resolution calling on the US to prevent crimes against local residents.

US troops throughout Japan were placed under a night-time curfew, which was lifted for senior personnel and eased slightly for other personnel in February.

The US has around 26,000 troops on Okinawa under the terms of a long-standing security alliance with Japan.

The US says it is planning to relocate several thousand Marines to its island territory of Guam, but has linked their departure to progress on a new base in the north of the island.

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