TOKYO — Two U.S. Navy sailors were convicted and sentenced to prison on Friday for raping and robbing a woman on Okinawa in a crime that outraged many on the southern Japanese island.
Seaman Christopher Browning, of Athens, Texas, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, were found guilty by the Naha District Court of raping and robbing a woman in her 20s in a parking lot in October. Both admitted committing the crime.
Browning, 24, was sentenced to 10 years and Dozierwalker, 23, received nine years.
The case outraged many Okinawans, who have long complained of military-related crime on their island, which hosts thousands of U.S. troops. It also sparked tougher restrictions for all 50,000 U.S. military personnel in Japan, including a curfew and drinking restrictions.
Prosecutors had sought up to 12 years in prison for Browning, who they said also robbed the woman after the rape. Both men admitted their guilt, but the defense had argued that such a long sentence would be excessive.
Tensions between U.S. troops and Okinawans are endemic because of islanders’ complaints of noise, the danger of accidents and crimes committed by servicemen. The rape in October came amid large protests over the U.S. military’s decision to base a new kind of aircraft at an Okinawan Marine facility.
Although most crimes committed by U.S. military personnel in Japan are handled by military courts, they can be prosecuted in Japanese courts in cases that occur off base and are deemed to be particularly serious, such as murder and rape.
The sailors were temporarily deployed to Japan with their unit, the VR-59 reserve air detachment based at Joint Naval Air Station, Fort Worth, Texas. According to police, they arrived in Okinawa two days before the crime on a brief stopover and were staying in an off-base hotel. They were reportedly drinking before the rape took place.
They will serve their sentences in a Japanese prison.
Browning to serve 10 years for rape
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O’KEEFFE coming to Malakoff, April 12
Carolyn Wickwire will star in the one-woman play O’Keeffe! by Lucinda McDermott, presented by the Greater Malakoff Area Garden Club and the Malakoff Historical Society in partnership with Flower and Bone Productions, directed by Ouida White.
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Have you been seeing those pictures on the internet of people in wild costumes, running through clouds of neon pink, blue, purple, and green and coming out looking like a rainbow?
If you have, you’ve been looking at the hottest thing to hit the walking and running world – the color run. And it’s coming to Athens on March 22 to benefit Hope Springs Water and celebrate International World Water Day.
AISD students honored for reading challenge
To get kids excited about reading and encourage more adults to spend time reading with their children, the National Education Association launched the first NEA's Read Across America day in 1998.
On March 3, NEA's Read Across America marked 17 years of celebrating reading and the birthday of Dr. Seuss.
Athens Independent School District participated in the event, but added a twist to encourage students to read more often.
The minimum standard for living
The average minimum wage worker renting a living space in Henderson County will spend more than 30 percent of their monthly income on their home.
The National Low-Income Housing Coalition reports Henderson County renters would have to work 85 hours at minimum wage for a two bedroom apartment. Of the six counties in the 5th Congressional District, Henderson ranks second, behind Dallas, for the most hours required.
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The students have spoken, Brownsboro ISD considering adding a soccer program.
Superintendent Dr. Chris Moran is scheduled to updated the school board on the progress of the program during the meeting on Monday, March 17.
A by-precinct breakdown of Henderson County’s vote on Tuesday shows pockets of support for candidates who came up short in the vote totals.
The 27 boxes in the county delivered 9,908 votes, of which more than half, 5,219, were cast during early balloting. There were 8,869 in the more hotly-contested Republican races and 1,039 Democratic votes.
Missing no more
The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department reports the recovery of a boat and a tractor among the $40,000 in stolen property located over the past week.
A true country caterer
It’s not every restaurant that you visit, that while you are eating, you are watching the RFD-TV channel known as “Rural America’s Most Important Network.” The huge wall screen keeps eyes going back and forth from where they are cutting their pork chops, to current information about the profit that can be realized from soy-bean growth on that day.
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