Two sailors arrested for allegedly raping woman

Category: [ News ]

Two U.S. sailors have been arrested in Okinawa on suspicion of raping a Japanese woman in her 20s.

Okinawa Police are withholding many details for the moment, but say the rape took place in the central Okinawa area. The sailors were identified as Able Seaman Christopher Browning, 23, and Third Petty Officer Skyler Dozierwalker, 23, both of whom are from the Fort Worth Naval Air Base in Texas.

The pair are charged with allegedly raping and injuring the woman early Tuesday morning, the police said. According to the Prefectural Police, Dozierwalker has admitted to the rape while Browning denies the allegations.

Investigators say that the two approached the woman when she was walking home between 3:30 and 4:20 a.m. One of the men is said to have approached to woman and talked her in Japanese. As she ignored the men and walked away, the two allegedly attacked her from behind, dragged her into an alley and raped her. They also caused her some injuries on her neck.

A person related to the victim called the police shortly after the incident, and based on the information, police found the two in an off-base hotel where they were staying.

The two supposedly came to Okinawa two days ago on official duties, and were scheduled to continue to Guam on the 16th.  Both say that they had been drinking alcohol earlier on the day.

The incident is already causing a stir.  Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, who is currently in Tokyo, plans to lodge a protest with U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos today. Parliamentary Senior Vice Foreign Minister Shuji Kira phoned Roos immediately after the news broke, expressing strong regret over the incident. Roos answered that the U.S. takes the incident seriously and will cooperate fully with the investigation.

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