US Navy sailors jailed for rape of Japanese woman


Young Japanese women hold banners during a major rally against the US military at a park in Okinawa after a string of serious misconduct by its soldiers including alleged rapes in the Japan's southern island province on March 23, 2008. More than 6,000 people took part in the rally on the island, home of more than 40,000 US troops stations in Japan.

Two American Navy sailors were jailed Friday for nine and 10 years respectively after they pleaded guilty to raping and robbing a woman on the Japanese island of Okinawa.

In a crime that shocked the otherwise peaceful tropical island, Seaman Christopher Browning, 24, of Athens, Texas, was sentenced to 10 years and Petty Officer 3rd Class Skyler Dozierwalker, 23, of Muskogee, Oklahoma, received nine years jail for the rape which occurred in a parking lot in October last year, AP reported.

Browning was also convicted of robbing the victim, aged in her 20s, of about $76.

The presiding judge, Hideyuki Suzuki, described the men's actions as “contemptible and violent” as he handed down the sentences. 

The crime led to widespread outrage by many Okinawans who for years have complained of military-related crime on their island, which hosts more than half of the 50,000 US military personnel in Japan.

The New York Times reported the attack sparked so much local anger that the American military was forced to impose a curfew on all United States military personnel in Japan.

The sailors, who pleaded guilty to the charges, will serve their time in a Japanese prison.