U.S. petty officer charged with two counts of molestation in Kanagawa

KANAGAWA —

An American crew member of the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington has been charged with two counts of molestation after he broke the nationwide curfew for U.S. military personnel and sexually molested two women in Kanagawa Prefecture on Jan 4.

TBS reported Thursday that the suspect, who is a 31-year-old petty officer first class based at Yokosuka, is accused of groping a 20-year-old woman at around 11:20 p.m. at her workplace, and then about an hour later, he allegedly groped the breasts of a 53-year-old woman who was walking her dog.

According to Japanese police, the suspect has reportedly confessed to the crimes, and was quoted as saying he was drunk at the time of the incidents.

Japan Today

  • 6

    Elbuda Mexicano

    Throw the book at this jerk!! Gives the rest of the good men and women in the US Navy a bad reputation, be nice if the good men and women of the navy kicked his ass around for a while, then throw his ass in a federal prison or let the local Yokosuka Japanese nationals also beat his ass for a while and then to a US federal prison.

  • -2

    Sheena Justice-Williams

    My home town is getting violent :( I still love YOKOSUKA!!

  • -7

    BertieWooster

    So, the lack of discipline and anti-social behaviour of US troops is not confined to Okinawa.

    Time to close up and go home US military.

    Bye!

  • 4

    Crazedinjapan

    I'll play the devils advocate today and say this. Although what this man did was wrong and shows USA personnel can't follow rules set in place, this article is just pure sensationalism! I've seen this happen dozen and dozens of times in the time that I have lived in Japan. I've seen much worse and watch police just let people walk away with no charges against them. So what is happening here is selective , Japanese people can do it and get away from making the news but Gaijin can't.

    Like I've said before, keep them on base. It will be the only way to stop these instances of people disobeying orders placed upon them where no Japanese people are involved.

    There is only so much of this that will be acceptable in number of occurrences with the higher command. How many times do you think they want to see this in the news .... You can bet Obama will only ignore it so long.

    Why doesn't Japan Today contact the local authorities and ask how many other instances of groping occurred in the last week??

  • 4

    Bartholomew Harte

    He belongs in stripes & not Navy Blues! Dishonor & shame to the uniform & nation!

  • -3

    Jason Santana

    If we go home china probably won't hesitate to try to take over Japan. Is that what you want?

  • 0

    naturalboke

    @CrazedinJapan You seem to missing a major point here and that is the role of military in Japan. The Military are here as representatives of their country and as protectors of Japan under the military agreement the countries share. You are completely right that lots of sexual offenses are committed by the general population of Japan but don't forget they are just, that the general populous every single different type of person Japan has to offer. The military however is meant to be assembled by of America's finest young men and women who have and have pledged to protect America's interests both at home and abroad. They proclaim to be highly trained which includes training in interacting with the people of foreign countries in a diplomatic and fair way. Let us not forget if a crisis hits the military may be called upon to police the general populous. They are meant to have been trained to be able to make the right moral decision when things get tough. Instances like this dishearten the general public of Japan who have been assured by your government that these bases around Japan are in Japan's interest to allow to be established and run.

    There are a lot of sexually related crimes in Japan that don't get highlighted but JT is not highlighting them anymore than they are the sexually related crimes of the general populous in America. The fact is that both are just not relevant. The defense of the Japanese are doing it too and nobody cares just doesn't stick. No crime of this nature is acceptable at any time, no excuses! Even if everyone in Japan was molesting each other it doesn't give anyone the right to join in. You don't seem to be so keen to compare the military to the thousands of non-military foreigners living in Japan who on the whole are doing a lot better job of keeping themselves out of trouble than the military is.

    My Japanese friends in Okinawa say they feel utterly emancipated by the American military there because whenever trouble occurs which involves the people of both nations both the Japanese police and the Military police get involved complicating matters no end and resulting in most problems taking months to resolve most often with the Japanese police allowing the military to punish the Americans involved themselves. I have only anecdotal evidence for this but even so is this the way America's finest should make the locals feel?

  • -13

    jojon922

    What is wrong with American people?? Why can't they obey the law? Why does it always have to do with alcohol? DOGS should not be on the streets without a leash !

    I am Japanese and I am sick and tired of this. I will NOT ever RESPECT any american person.

  • 4

    Patrick Smith

    @naturalboke

    Think you need to look up the definition of emancipated..

    That being said I agree. Yes, they do focus in on these events simply because they are Americans, but they represent their country and better is expected. You're never going to stop the Japanese from focusing on this stuff. It's the same when JETS or ALTs get caught drunk driving or for some other petty crime. Happens hundreds of times every day to Japanese but it's a BIG deal if they get caught.

    It's the reason why numerous times after a only few beers over many hours I fought that urge to take the 5 minute drive back home, knowing in the US I'd be perfectly legal or near 0 BAC, but that minute chance I got caught and arrested would absolutely ruin the years I spent building the communities trust and respect. I'd ruin the overall positive view they had of America (most people..) because like it or not I represented the whole country to them.

  • 1

    Jeff Ogrisseg

    @jojon922 Your first two questions seem rhetorical and don't deserve an answer. Maybe it always has to do with alcohol because weed and LSD are illegal. Would that make a difference? Many of us are also "sick and tired of this" and we're not Japanese. You, however, are, and you have earned my mutual respect.

  • -4

    naturalboke

    I wasn't in any way implying that the military's importance here excuses them for their actions, quite the opposite. I am implying that they deserve to be highlighted as they are meant to be setting an example to other Americans living in Japan.

    I compared the military to the foreign residents of Japan because its a much fairer comparison than trying to compare them with the general populous of Japan. Initially just in the size of the sample the number of troops and foreign residents are measured in thousands whereas the whole population in measured in millions.

    RE: Point 1/2) The military shouldn't need to be kept on base to behave themselves their not wild dogs. They need stricter discipline and penalties.

    My two cents if they mean anything are that these crimes tend to happen more with military than with non-military foreigners is that for some members of the armed forces view Japan is just another place to be shipped out too and don't really have an interest or any real respect for the culture or society. As opposed to people who come here because they have a real interest in Japan.

    • Moderator

      Readers, comparisons with similar crimes committed by Japanese are not relevant to this particular discussion.

  • 2

    Crazedinjapan

    Natural.....phew ! My fingers got tired at the thought of typing as much as you.

    I didn't miss the point , apparently you missed mine. 1. The news is biased and is sensationalizing on the fact it's a service member doing this again. 2. Keep base personnel on base those opportune moments for Japan media to capitalize in these instances will almost be gone (except from the off chance a foreigner living in general population does it )

    I don't think anyone doing this is good. You make reference to these personnel being trained to police general population ..well these instances aren't very reassuring to the citizens of Japan.

    Why would I compare to the "good gaijin" ? They aren't the issue here, my reference was to military misfits and Japanese misfits alike. Leave the good people out of the equation,we (the good people) are already stigmatized by these social deviants already.

    I don't think I or many people on here have missed the point of this article. Yes the role is what it is but if you are going to talk about representation then this instance and the others before it are definately not representing the USA in a positive light nor does it excuse the individuals caught doing it. You are coming across as if these actions should be excused because of the USA's importance here. We all know they are important. Perhaps my point of keeping individuals in the service on base would be a better solution as it seems the "training" they are receiving on how to behave off base isn't up to par.

  • 2

    Richard bHard

    I was drunk ..that is a good excuse!

  • 4

    darknuts

    @Jojon992 No Americans deserve your respect? We are all law breakers? Thats outrageous. How many Americans have you met? I'm willing to bet none. So why do you judge an entire group of people based on what a few do? You do realize there are over 50000 service members here who don't do this sort of thing. I find your post to be disturbing and unformed. Your views reflect poorly on the Japanese people.

  • 4

    lincolnman

    As I have said before, any US military affiliated member who commits an infraction of Japanese law, deserves whatever censure the host government (and the US military) decides.

    What is absolutely outrageous however, is the level of stereotyping and generalizing by some posters here. Comments such as “time to close up and go home US military”, “what is wrong with American people”, etc., only show how narrow-minded, intolerant, and prejudicial some people can be.

    There are close to 100K US military affiliated personnel in Japan, these biased posters condemn them all merely because of the alcohol induced stupidity of a mere handful. Yet they dismiss the majority of that 100K who daily positively interact with their local Japanese neighbors and volunteer in their off-base communities, let alone pledge to put their lives in danger to defend Japan or assist during a major disaster.

  • 4

    USNinJapan2

    naturalbloke

    My Japanese friends in Okinawa say they feel utterly emancipated by the American military there because whenever trouble occurs which involves the people of both nations both the Japanese police and the Military police get involved complicating matters no end and resulting in most problems taking months to resolve...

    Emancipated??? To quote Inigo from the Princess Bride, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

  • 3

    basroil

    BertieWoosterFeb. 01, 2013 - 08:24AM JST

    So, the lack of discipline and anti-social behaviour of US troops is not confined to Okinawa.

    Neither is it limited to US troops. Saying that this is limited to them is flat out wrong regardless of how popular xenophobic statements are in okinawa.

  • 0

    basroil

    An American crew member of the U.S. aircraft carrier George Washington has been charged with two counts of molestation after he broke the nationwide curfew for U.S. military personnel and sexually molested two women in Kanagawa Prefecture on Jan 4

    That should read "allegedly molested", as so far it seems the only the victims are witnesses. Why this guy gets thrown in jail while cops caught groping on camera are only demoted is beyond unacceptable, and a clear showing that the justice system is broken.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    I'll play the devils advocate today and say this. Although what this man did was wrong and shows USA personnel can't follow rules set in place, this article is just pure sensationalism! I've seen this happen dozen and dozens of times in the time that I have lived in Japan. I've seen much worse and watch police just let people walk away with no charges against them. So what is happening here is selective , Japanese people can do it and get away from making the news but Gaijin can't.

    What you're saying may be 100% true, but this guy shouldn't get a free pass just because others have. Anybody who starts molesting when drunk has no business representing his country in a foreign land. After the J-courts deal with him, ship his sorry butt back to the states and drum him out of the service. He is a stain on the rest of us law-abiding Americans.

  • 0

    brknarm2012

    Basroil: Being that he's reportedly confessed, most folks would tend to think the victim's statements are true. Or is this another case where we shouldn't trust the cops because it involves a service member?

  • 0

    USNinJapan2

    Something is not quite right with this story. Why is this alleged incident being reported for the first time nearly a month after the fact? Such a juicy story for the media too. Something doesn't add up...

  • -1

    Fadamor

    Something is not quite right with this story. Why is this alleged incident being reported for the first time nearly a month after the fact? Such a juicy story for the media too. Something doesn't add up...

    The story being reported is that after police finished their investigation, the sailor is being charged. It took four weeks to conduct the investigation and extract the confession. I can't say whether that's fast, about normal, or slow for this type of case.

    Ironic that this article appears on the same day as the one about 93 cops arrested & an additional 458 disciplined in 2012 primarily for MOLESTATION, theft & accepting bribes.

    Not sure where you're getting that "fact" from. Only the ones arrested had "sexual molestation" listed as ONE OF THE leading causes for arrest. "Of those arrested, the main offenses were sexual molestation, theft and accepting bribes, the NPA said." Of the ones only being disciplined, sexual molestation isn't mentioned at all. "Among those who received disciplinary action, the main offenses were accepting bribes, sexual harassment, falsifying evidence and altering reports."

    No mention anywhere about the number of molestations that are comitted every day by Japanese citizens. I suspect that this USN PO wasn't the only one groping strangers on Thursday....

    Considering the article was about the charging of this sailor for commiting specific crimes on January 4, I'm not surprised in the least that the article doesn't talk about other unrelated crimes. I also seriously doubt the Petty Officer was groping ANYBODY on Thursday as he was most likely sitting in a jail cell.

  • 0

    Fadamor

    My Japanese friends in Okinawa say they feel utterly emancipated by the American military there because whenever trouble occurs which involves the people of both nations both the Japanese police and the Military police get involved complicating matters no end and resulting in most problems taking months to resolve most often with the Japanese police allowing the military to punish the Americans involved themselves. I have only anecdotal evidence for this but even so is this the way America's finest should make the locals feel?

    First of all: If I were to guess, I'd say you were looking for the word "emasculated" rather than "emancipated".

    Second of all: In the 1960 Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), there are clearly defined jusridiction rules between the U.S. Military and Japanese law enforcement when an incident involving a U.S. Serviceman happens. In a nutshell, the ONLY time the U.S. military can override Japan's jurisdiction is if the serviceman committed the infraction while under orders or otherwise performing duties as part of his service. In the many years I've been on JT, I can think of only one time where that exception could have been invoked and that was when the female service member driving a humvee made a wrong turn into a parking lot and damaged some property. In all the other incidents I've read about here involving U.S. servicemen - from ANY prefecture in Japan - the Japanese courts clearly had jurisdictional precedence. There was no confusion. If the police feel a servicemember is a suspect, they have the right to question him. If they feel they have enough evidence and they indict the servicemember, then the U.S. Military will hand the servicemember over to Japanese authorities (if they don't already have him.)

    There was the incident a few years back where the police wanted the suspect taken off-base so they could "question" him. It soon became obvious, however, that instead of "questioning", they wanted to apply their special confession methods. When the military said that they could come on-base to question the suspect, they refused and for the longest time they refused any recording of the questioning. One wonders what's so "special" about the interrogation rooms in Japanese police buildings that prevents interrogation elsewhere?

    Regardless, the Okinawans have shown a tendency to "bend the truth" when it comes to jurisdictional issues, so you really need to avoid repeating "anecdotal evidence" - which in a courtroom would be called "hearsay". During the occupation of Japan after WWII, there were incidents where the servicemembers were shipped back to the States after committing crimes without being prosecuted in Japan and those actions are what prompted the need to create the SOFA in 1960. Maybe your "anecdotal evidence" harkens back to those days, but if so they haven't been relevant for over half a century.

  • 0

    USNinJapan2

    Fadamor

    The story being reported is that after police finished their investigation, the sailor is being charged. It took four weeks to conduct the investigation and extract the confession. I can't say whether that's fast, about normal, or slow for this type of case.

    I know full well how the prosecution process works and how long it takes four weeks is normal. What I'm questioning is why it took four weeks for this incident to be reported by the media. Am I mistaken that this incident was not reported back when it happened four weeks ago? I certainly don't recall seeing any articles and can't seem to find one online. A month ago every little incident involving a service member (if a Sailor coughed too loudly in public) was being reported as a violation of the curfew and was front page news, so why not this one? That's why I'm saying that something is not right with this case.

  • 0

    Little Boots

    Just like a lot of previous posts say; the guy messed up and will be dealt with accordingly, but is this actually news worthy? A couple of paragraphs? It just gives a nice topic for everybody to discuss in the forum.

  • 1

    LOVEnotWAR

    American soldiers do not represent the country or its people. Saying anything else is nonsense.

    American soldiers disregarding orders do not even represent the American government.

    This clod only represents himself.

  • -1

    Kuribo1

    Typical actions from a typical drunk ahole thinking himself above his station. Break a law on foreign soil should be dealt with by foreign justice.

  • 1

    Noliving

    American soldiers do not represent the country or its people. Saying anything else is nonsense. American soldiers disregarding orders do not even represent the American government. This clod only represents himself.

    Lets take that same soldier and lets say that soldier single handily stopped a rape by multiple men on a school girl. I just have a feeling that suddenly that soldier represents the country and its people.

  • 0

    ebonyninja

    ****I agree that U.S. military personnel do not conduct themselves appropriately in Japan, and the majority of the atrocities they commit, they would never dream of doing in there home town. BUT! I think Japan needs to take responsibility for sending the wrong message!! A message that even Japan Policemen interpret incorrectly! "YOUNG CUTE GIRLS! SEX! ETC!!

    and a prime example of sending the wrong message!!

    "Okinawa cancels plan to use young women’s thighs as advertising space"

    This is one of the articles in Japan Today. Who would even think about such a ploy to advertise products. Let's see. short skirts and decals on the thighs of high school aged girls....to the delight of 40 something men!

    Its sick!!!

    And everyone wonders why men consider touching women in crowded trains.

  • 1

    D1lostgaijin

    For all those that have said ALL U.S. Military members can't abide by laws - you are sadly mistaken! There are those that are idiots and get in trouble cause they are the "rebels and no one will tell them what to do" and then there are the ones like myself and husband that are opposites. We spent 5 years in Japan. We followed all the Japanese laws, paid respect to everyone we met and were very gracious that we were allowed the opportunity to have been there....and we FOLLOWED the rules our command set!

    With that said, of those individuals that can't follow the rules and make Americans look bad - don't think our entire population is like that. We aren't trained to fondle women on the streets, get drunk and break rules our command sets. These actions shows a lack of discipline on THAT persons behalf, not the entire nation. It angers me when Americans act like fools when they do this but it saddens me that the rest of the world is going to clump me into this "stereotype" because I'm not like that at all. I loved Japan, the people and the rich culture - but thanks to the screw ups of those idiots that I get to share the title of "american servicemember" with, I get to be lumped into that negative stereotype.

    Really....you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover.

  • 0

    Alejandro Dela Cruz

    This is funny.

  • 1

    BurakuminDes

    This is funny.

    You have a weird sense of humour. I am certain the two women who were molested do not find it "funny" - in fact it has probably impacted their lives in a terrible way. Maybe you wouldn't find it "funny" if the victime was your daughter, wife, sister etc.

  • 0

    palanteboricua

    Place this clown in The Slammer!! Strip away rank and court martial his arse!!

  • 0

    palanteboricua

    Place this clown in The Slammer!! Strip away rank and court martial his arse!!

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