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U.S. Consul General promises military investigation of Marine

Date Posted: 2008-03-02

The American Consul General on Okinawa says “we are going to continue the investigation” of Tyrone Hadnott, in spite of a Japanese government decision Friday night to drop rape charges against the Marine.
Kevin Maher says “the Japanese government has dismissed his case, so we, and the American military officials, can do an investigation to find the truth.” America’s top diplomat on Okinawa says “we will decide after a strict investigation what to do” with the Marine accused in the alleged February 10th rape of a 14-year-old schoolgirl in Okinawa City.
Charges were abruptly dropped Friday night after the chief prosecutor for the Naha District Public Prosecutors Office said it was the girl’s decision to end her accusations against the 38-year-old Marine. Yaichiro Yamashiki says the girl asked “Please leave me alone” and we determined it isn’t appropriate to indict the suspect by applying charges after considering the victim’s feelings. The girl just wants to be left in peace.”
Hadnott was turned over to U.S. Marine Corps officials Friday night. State Department spokesman Tom Casey confirmed that “The U.S. military, despite charges being dropped (by the Japanese) in this case, will continue its own investigation.” Casey says the investigation will evaluate “what may or may not be done in terms of future legal action against this individual”, noting Hadnott had responsibilities to obey both U.S. and Japanese laws.
Consul General Maher ruled out any quick end to the lockdown imposed February 20th, telling reporters “we are still going forward with the program.” The blanket curfew imposed by Marine Corps Lieutenant General Richard Zilmer, the senior military officer on the island, has all service personnel, government civilians, contractors, and family members confined to bases except for a small number of exemptions for activities such as church, medical treatment, education events and community relations approved functions.
Maher says the military, the State Department and the local community are working together with special teams trying to develop systems to prevent such assault incidents from reoccurring. “We are looking at revising education to our military people, and at the lockout actions, as measures to enforce strict official discipline,” he said.

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