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Brown loses court appeal on procedural mistake

Date Posted: 2005-02-04

A Marine Corps officer challenging his conviction of attempted molestation had his appeal tossed out this week by the local Naha branch of Fukuoka High Court.

The court dismissed the appeal, saying only that documents in the case were photocopies of the written statement of appeal. It called the filing a “procedural error” because the Rules of Criminal Procedure require documents to have a handwritten signature.

Toshimitsu Takaesu, Brown’s attorney, called the decision “a procedural error on the side of the court." Takaesu said that when he took the original and a photocopy of the document to the Naha District Court, a court official put a receiving stamp on both of them and returned the original to him.
Brown, 41, was convicted last summer of attempted molestation and property damage, and sentenced to a one-year prison term, suspended for three years. Brown, who continues to insist he is innocent, appealed the district court ruling.

The district court charged Brown tried to molest a woman on the morning of Nov. 2, 2002, in a car in Gushikawa, Okinawa Prefecture. He was also found guilty of throwing the woman's cell phone into a river after she tried to call police.

The case became controversial when the woman told the court she wanted charges against Brown dropped. She said she had never wanted to press charges, and that the initial attempted rape charges came at the hands of police and prosecutors.

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