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U.S. soldier may face rape charges

Date Posted: 2008-07-31

The U.S. Army has taken the first steps toward charging a soldier in connection with a February 18th incident that the woman called rape.
Sergeant Ronald Hopstock Jr., has been confined to Kadena Air Base since the winter incident, when his 22-year-old Filipina accuser claimed he raped her. Hopstock has repeatedly denied the charges, leading Japanese prosecutors to quit its investigation in mid-May and not file charges.
The woman, who worked at an Okinawa City club frequented by service members, says she left the club with Hopstock that evening, and wound up in a hotel room with him. She claims Hopstock attacked and raped her while she was sleeping.
The 25-year-old Hopstock has been questioned repeatedly by U.S. Army Japan officials, who now say they’re planning a preliminary hearing to decide if he should face courts martial. Hopstock, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment at Kadena Air Base, has contended all activities with the Filipina girl were consensual.
An Army spokesperson says the decision will be made within 120 days whether bring rape or other charges against Hopstock.

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