crime

U.S. sailor reportedly charged with Okinawa rape

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I don't see how being "pro-American" has anything to do with this. If he did such a despicable thing, he should absolutely be punished to the full extent of the law. Of course rape happens everywhere. On the other hand, it would be wrong to paint all Americans or American servicemen with the same brush. There are all kinds of people, good and bad, in any group of people. Hopefully justice is served in this case. I hope he doesn't get away with this.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Stupid is as stupid does.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Are US forces personnel subjected to curfews in the same way that they are on South Korean soil? If not perhaps it is time that they are!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

KariHaruka, you are so wrong. But yes, I do believe they have a curfew.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Seriously?? They have to follow procedures down to the letter in Japan. Public service may be fast but the legal system is slow. Convict someone in less than a month on circumstantial evidence. This is ridiculous!! Where's the DNA test to prove he did this? Where is the account from the victim? Where are the possible witnesses and lastly where is the jury?

I'm not condoning this but honestly this could have been some random girl that he wanted to make sure she was okay, then all the sudden he is charged with rape.

Yes we need justice but this is a Damn witch hunt!! They are looking for a reason to charge this guy if it weren't for thus then something else.

The crime is stl alleged at this point!

"The Naha district public prosecutors office on the island charged Justin Castellanos, 24, stationed at the US Marine Corps Camp Schwab base on the island, with the alleged crime, Jiji Press and other media reported."

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

It sounds like this soldier messed up. Obviously we don't know any of the details, but this is Japan, not the U.S. There is no "jury" and being suspected of a crime automatically puts you on the defensive way more than in the States. I'm not saying that he raped her, but he will definitely pay the price for his alcohol induced lapse in judgement. This is a reason to not get drunk, especially around people you don't know.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

No one has been convicted yet.

This thread could reach new heights on the stupidity scale. So far, it's at 6.2, but It could go radioactive stupid.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Just last week an Okinawan government worker was arrested for having sex with a minor and purchasing tobacco for the same minor. The victim in this case was coerced into pressing charges by an Okinawan anti-US agitator. Had the agitator not been involved nothing would have been pushed by the so called victim. Now the case forementioned with the Nago official and minor, that is much more serious than some out dated 40yr who should be lucky to have gotten a young 24 yr old to be interested in her despite being drunk..

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

the problem in South Korea is the Status of Forces Agreement is still in effect which means that no matter what the Americans do to anyone they can only be punished by their own military..even if it is murder or rape.

American military personnel are subject only to their own military so the government is long overdue to institute a new agreement...the SOFA is overdue to be replaced with civilian justice for all crimes committed by all personnel outside the areas of a military establishment.

Japan is headed in that direction with a forces that is no longer completely defensive and it is about time
0 ( +2 / -2 )

Jason Santana,

"Convict someone in less than a month on circumstantial evidence. This is ridiculous!! Where's the DNA test to prove he did this? Where is the account from the victim? Where are the possible witnesses and lastly where is the jury?"

Wow, talk about hysterically putting the cart before the horse. He hasn't been convicted, he has been charged. All the other things you mention would be revealed at or part of a trial, which comes after being charged.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Could it be possible, as some said here, that they were both so drunk in the night that they could not remember what happened?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The video from security cameras in hall of hotels are used more than people's testnony that are often denied as hearsay etc. Often cops introgatioons are not reliable as. They were not on crime scenes. Hearsay Defendent's concessions are used when obtained while defense attorney is present.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

no matter what the Americans do to anyone they can only be punished by their own military..even if it is murder or rape.

Don't spread lies, the SOFA agreements in every country put the American military personnel under that countries jurisdiction unless that country chooses to waive those rights. It's as simple as a Google search and 15 minutes of reading. No need to lie to people.

VI CRIMINAL LIABILITY http://www.nichibenren.or.jp/library/en/document/data/140220_2_opinion.pdf

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When GI did a criminal act off base (meaning on Japanese jurisdiction) he will not tried in base. American legal officers are not interested in defending rapist. There are a bunch of paperwork and US officers are not trained of raised to be a friend of criminals

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The answer to this rape and all future illicit activities by US military personnel is simple, bring them home, close all bases everywhere and this sentiment is shared by growing numbers of my fellow Americans

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have seen little info on this case -and as of now the person in question is not a "rapist." = He is an "alleged rapist" until the judge looks at the case and/or a jury makes a decision.

Very bizarre story and I have my doubts. Large age difference being question #1.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its time to close all bases. It's an outdated concept.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unless you have ever been charged in Japan, I don't think you really understand how it works in Japan. You are guilty until proven innocent. Japan has a 99.9% conviction rate. Not because it is good but because, once you have been indicted, hear-say...false prosecution/police statements...false victim testimony...and you have to show that you did not do it (not the other way around)...will be used against you while you are behind bars and are not able to have anyone help you. Your attorney already knows you are going to lose so they will only go through formalities.

China only has a 98% conviction rate. The United States/International Courts should really review Japan's legal system if the US/International are going to abide by Japanese Court rulings. The Japanese courts will not lose face and will lie/slander to put the allege suspect in jail once the prosecution has decided they want them. So, he is guilty once she accused him as long as he was on the same island...and if he could not prove that he was no where around her (which the police will twist up to ensure that he was somewhere near her), he is done for.

Why are there so many convictions in Japan over rape but you never hear about rape convictions in England, Germany or Italy? There are a lot of military stationed in those countries. Are the women in those countries so ugly or do those countries abide by first world judicial systems? Innocent until proven guilty ... not guilty till proven innocent.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Jim McBride

American military personnel are subject only to their own military so the government is long overdue to institute a new agreement...the SOFA is overdue to be replaced with civilian justice for all crimes committed by all personnel outside the areas of a military establishment. Japan is headed in that direction with a forces that is no longer completely defensive and it is about time

You couldn't more wrong. Please stop spreading misinformation like this. Do yourself a favor and do a little research on the subject first because you clearly have the SOFA and its applicability backwards. The Host Nation, in this case Japan, always has primary jurisdiction over cases involving crimes of a serious and/or violent nature. This is why the Okinawa Police have had custody of this Sailor from the moment he was arrested and will continue to do so until the trial.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Once someone confessed raping or video tape was shown, police do not have to treat him as innocent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Toshiko...you need to really research Japan's legal system. Many Japanese will be surprised at what really happens in court. A lawyer is not present when the police interrogate a suspect. The judges will...will, let me repeat this again, will always follow the prosecutor's charges and convict. Only .03% of suspects will be acquitted in the first lower court and only .01% will be acquitted in the 2nd upper court. I am not talking about 3% or 1%, .03% and .01%. There are no check and balance in Japanese court system. There are only checks...police said he did it - check....prosecutor said he did it - check...there are no physical evidence that proves he is innocent (his testimony, others testimony, circumstantial evidence to prove his innocent will not be used to prove his innocence) - check...judges (he is guilty) - check.

Also, if the suspect has a court appointed lawyer, that lawyer will not "rock the boat" because they may not get court appointed cases in the future. The lawyers...especially court appointed lawyers know that they will lose the case so they will only go through the motions of a defense. Once a suspect has been indicted after 23 days in detention...that person will be convicted unless the suspect has clear, undeniable evidence. His word and friends words will be no good after the 23 day detention.

If the hotel video shows that the girl and the suspect were in the same hotel even though they were not in the same room, the police will use it as evidence that he did it. However, unless the video explicitly shows that he was never around her the whole time that he was in the hotel (which would be impossible since there are no hotel cameras in the rooms, bathrooms, etc..), he will not be able to use or imply that he is innocent even if the cameras never catches him and her together.

The police/prosecutor do not have to provide written testimony from the witness/suspect. They will provide their own summary of what they think the witness/suspect said to give to the court, for which the judges will take as gospel.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

deveit

Please include the fact that Japan 's indictment rate is very low. More than half of the arrested by poilce are not charged in Japan. It is so common that there is a short term for it: Fukiso, non-prosecution.

Also, if the suspect has a court appointed lawyer, that lawyer will not "rock the boat" because they may not get court appointed cases in the future.

The lawyers do many kinds of works not just court appointed criminal case. If the lawyers lose the case in court, it affect their careers. They are very very serious in winning or getting as much lenient as possible in court.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Well, this guy has done some serious, serious damage to the reputation of US military types in Japan. The military has always had a severe anti-social element to it, and now it's reinforced. Some stereotypes will never die

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Dcog9065, do you even live in Japan? That's not a very accurate statement.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Cyburnetic Tiger: Yeah I live in Tokyo, and you often see Marines or whatever out on the town on the weekends being generally anti-social and rowdy. It would be best if they stayed away from civil and populated areas. There's a very disturbing macho complex among the military which makes them severely anti-social

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@devit: I have LLD in Japan. Old but I had to take as everyone in my family has... starting from my great grandfather in Meiji ishin. My American daughters are attorneys, too. What you have? because I was a first Japanese who majored CS in 1965 I specialized in tech related cases in USA. What you got? I retired about 30 yrs ago but often assist youngsters for Japan USA related cases. What is your background?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please don't get me wrong...I want rapist, child molesters, sexual predators behind bars just like everyone else. However, please do not try and compare the American/English/Canadian/Australian legal systems to the Japanese system.

In California, the prosecutor has to indicted you (and you can ask for bail) within 96 hours. In Japan, they do not have to let you go for 23 days (judge/prosecutor-same difference) and then they can hold you without bail for 4 months or as long as they want with farcical reasoning (flight risk, tampering with evidence, victim's privacy, etc..). This whole time, you have lost the ability to mount a defense because your witnesses have been tampered with by the police, you cannot force evidence or assistance from witnesses that could exonerate you (they don't want to get involved-typical Japanese way), you have probably lost your job-hurting your ability to pay for investigative services to help you in your case, you cannot contact people or talk about your case to other people while you are in detention that could help your case (visitation is only one person a day and a guard monitors your communication and will not allow you to speak about the case)(Naha detention has a little more lee way but they monitor your communication and can cut you off if they think you are talking more than you should about the case) and you can only speak to the lawyer, who doesn't understand you or what you need to defend yourself.

If you try to find a Japanese attorney and want to view their win/lost rates, you will not find it...there is no such thing because they have all lost (I am talking about criminal cases and not so much about civil cases). The Japanese attorney's biggest advertisement is that they will ensure that they pay the victim so you do not have to go to court...they are strong in getting the victim to take the payment...not that they are strong in winning in court.

Americans in Japan that are here because we want to...I guess we have to suck it up. However, military members are generally ordered to come to Japan. These members, in my opinion, should not be turned over to the Japanese judicial system until Japan has changed to the English court system or all military members have been given a thorough knowledge of the Japanese guilty-until-proven-innocent system.

My advice to military members would be to not get drunk off-base and not date anyone off-base. If you have been drinking (even if you are sober) and a girl says you raped/sexually assaulted her...good luck because you are going to jail for 2 to 5 years whether you did it or not.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@deveit: Okinawa is in Japan. Not in Calf. That is one of 50 states in USA. Off base dinking of military men, US military already created rules. A couple years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

deveit

You are ignoring the important point I said. The majority of suspects in Japan are not indicted. Only those whom the prosecutors are confident to win against are indicted.

That means the majority of suspects will be released within a few weeks without being charged, which would be much shorter period than the people in USA who are indicted and hasveto go through court procedures.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Crime types of Japan and California are quite difference. In Japan,, pistol using crime is rare, In USA every day somewhere gun shooting crimes. You can not criticize Japan for conviction of Japan,s crime rate. Is lower than Calf.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seriously?? They have to follow procedures down to the letter in Japan. Public service may be fast but the legal system is slow. Convict someone in less than a month on circumstantial evidence. This is ridiculous!!

He hasn't been convicted yet, this is only the indictment. Keep your shorts on. The SOFA specifies some things can't happen against U.S. servicemen by the Japanese judicial system until an indictment is issued, and so I'm not surprised that the prosecutors were pushing for a speedy indictment. The sailor still gets his day in court, but frankly it seems they don't just randomly charge rape without some strong evidence behind the charge.

Servicemen are told before they arrive in a foreign country that if they break the law, they are subject to the country's laws and there's not much the U.S. Government can do to help them. This sailor can't use the "I didn't know" defense. Rapists are scum and if this sailor is guilty then he deserves everything that's coming to him.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the Japanese judicial system until Japan has changed to the English court system

The English court system is no better than Japan's. In USA, the jury system and plea bargaining may put you in jail even if you are innocent.

The Japanese attorney's biggest advertisement is that they will ensure that they pay the victim so you do not have to go to court.

I have never heard that the attorney has to pay the victim. You have to be in court if you are a criminal defendant.

the Japanese guilty-until-proven-innocent system.

innocent until proven guilty system. Your attitude of criticizing Japan's court system without knowing well is hardly innocent until proven guilty. Compare the number of convicted cases per capita of the two countries.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Japan has more innocent until proven guilty" cases than USA. Especially for famous people. The OJ Simpson spent years in jails and this year Different court found not guilty currently. Read Simpson in Wikipedia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has more innocent until proven guilty" cases than USA. Especially for famous people. The OJ Simpson spent years in jails and this year Different court found not guilty currently. Read Simpson in Wikipedia.

Just read the Wikipedia entry for Simpson, and nowhere does it say he was found "not guilty" of any charges other than the original verdict issued in 1994 for the two murders. He is still in jail for the 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping charges he faced for he and his team breaking into a Las Vegas hotel room and stealing memorabilia he claims was stolen from his possession. In 2013 he was granted parole on some of the charges stemming from the Las Vegas robbery, but he will remain incarcerated until 2017 on the remaining charges.

Note: a "parole" is not a "pardon". There's a big difference.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I was advised Wiki entry is old and 2016 Calif Court decision was not entered yet. I got info from CNBC moderator Greta's interview about a couple weeks ago.

Other guilty until proven in ocent. DUI in drunk tank,

Years ago,, FBI forgot or omitted to tell You have right remain silence ... when they arrested Mafias in Vegas,

Oscar Goodman used to make them released. So FBI now says You have .... except Hillary's E mail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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