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US military jails Marine for sexual misconduct in Japan
uusjio | May 21, 2008 at 05:03 pmby
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Tokyo (ANTARA News/afp) - A court martial has sentenced a US Marine to 20 months in prison for sexual misconduct against a woman in Japan, the US military said in a statement.
The case was one of a series of alleged crimes by US troops in Japan that have sparked public anger, leading Washington to pledge tougher discipline.
Gunnery Sergeant Jarvis Raynor, 35, would also be discharged for "bad conduct" following Tuesday's court martial, the US military said.
He was among four Marines accused of gang-raping a 19-year-old woman in the western city of Hiroshima in October.
One of the four had already been given a two-year prison term and dishonourable discharge for sexual misconduct earlier this month.
Japanese prosecutors dropped the case due to a lack of evidence. The military decided to court martial them instead.
A rape charge against Raynor was dropped under a plea bargain. He was found guilty of lesser offences including engaging in indecent acts and violating military orders.
US troops are stationed in Japan under a security treaty with the country, which has been constitutionally pacifist since World War II. Tensions with local communities have been strained by a series of high-profile crimes.
In the southern island of Okinawa -- home to more than half of the 40,000 US troops based in Japan -- a US military court Friday sentenced a US Marine to four years in prison for sexually abusing a 14-year-old Japanese schoolgirl. (*) end