The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by an Australian woman who accused the Japanese police of "second rape" by mistreating her case in 2002. But she said she was resolved to take the case to the Supreme Court, continuing her fight for 11 million yen in compensation.
"I am very disappointed with the ruling," said the Australian, who uses the pseudonym Jane. "This is a matter that concerns not just me but also everyone in Japan." Asked if she would appeal again, she said, "100%. I'm going up to the next step."
The plaintiff was raped in 2002 by a then sailor of the USS Kitty Hawk aircraft carrier in the naval port city of Yokosuka.
After prosecutors dropped the case without pressing a criminal charge against the sailor, she filed a civil case with the Tokyo District Court and won the right to seek compensation of 3 million yen from her attacker.
Before the district court made a ruling in that case, the sailor left the country without informing his lawyer. The compensation was instead paid by the Japanese government earlier this year.
The victim also sued the local government of Kanagawa Prefecture, arguing its police had failed to fulfill their duties, such as preserving the rapist's sperm left in her body or taking her blood and urine samples.
She said in court that police officers had forced her to take them to the crime scene before she could wash and had not allowed her to go to hospital immediately.
The police demanded she pose for pictures to show how she had been raped, before releasing her 10 hours later, she said.
"I had to force myself not to use the toilet for four hours after the incident while being questioned by the police," Jane told reporters.
"It's a common sense in Australia that a rape victim should not use the toilet until the evidence is sampled," she said.
Judge Toshifumi Minami said in the ruling: "Though it would have been preferable if police officers had paid more consideration to the victim, the lack of consideration was not to the extent of violating the law."
Jane's lawyer, Mami Nakano, criticized the ruling. "If this kind of idea is tolerated in society, it would hinder rape victims from reporting their cases to police," she said.© Wire reports