U.S. Marine fined 50,000 yen for lifting girl’s skirt

U.S. Marine fined 50,000 yen for lifting girl’s skirt

NAHA, Japan, Jan. 26 Kyodo

The Naha Summary Court on Friday fined a 21-year-old U.S. Marine stationed in Okinawa 50,000 yen for lifting up a high school girl’s skirt to try to photograph her underwear earlier in the month.

According to the indictment, Corporal Raven Gogol, posted at Camp Hansen in northern Okinawa, lifted up the skirt of a 16-year-old girl who was sitting by a flower bed in the town of Kin and tried to take a picture on Jan. 9.

He was originally arrested on suspicion of forcible molestation, but the Naha Sub-District Public Prosecutors Office later changed the accusation to violation of a prefectural ordinance against public nuisance.

The case triggered protests from various groups in and outside Okinawa. The prefectural assembly unanimously adopted a resolution last week specifically demanding a reduction in the number of U.S. Marines in Okinawa for the first time.

People on the island, which is home to 75% of U.S. military facilities in Japan although it accounts for only 0.6% of Japan’s total land area, have been enraged by a series of crimes committed by U.S. servicemen.

In 1995, three U.S. Marines were arrested on charges of raping a girl in an Okinawa elementary school, one of the most high-profile incidents involving U.S. personnel in the past decade.

Another public outcry occurred shortly before the Group of Eight summit in Okinawa last July when a 19-year-old U.S. Marine molested a junior high school girl after entering her house drunk.

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