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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 10:57 GMT 11:57 UK
Prosecution question Okinawa 'rape victim'
US serviceman Timothy Woodland arrives for questioning at Okinawa police station in July
The US had initially delayed handing over the airman
A Japanese woman allegedly raped by a US airman in a car park in Okinawa has said she was too scared to cry for help.

The woman, being cross-examined for the first time, said she had given no sign she would consent to sex, and said such suggestions were "outrageous."

Car park near Kadena airbase - scene of the alleged rape
The alleged rape took place in this car park
"I said loudly 'No, No," and I firmly resisted," the woman, who has not been named, told Naha district court on Monday.

The woman, aged in her 20s, gave evidence from a separate room via a video link, as part of recent measures brought in to protect alleged rape victims.

The defendant, US Air Force Staff Sergeant Timothy Woodland, 24, has admitted having sex with the woman, but denies rape.

The alleged rape took place on the hood of a car in the early hours of 29 June in the car park of the American Village shopping and amusement arcade outside the sprawling Kadena base, about 18km (11 miles) north of Naha.

'Outrageous'

The woman repeatedly answered "no" to questions asking whether she had given signs of consent.

"That is absolutely not the case," she said.

Defence lawyers questioned the women about her sexual history and suggested she may have intended to encourage Mr Woodland by standing up and resting her hands on the hood of the car.

"In a big parking lot where there are people, to think that way just because I was standing like that is outrageous," she told the court.

The prosecution has said she was resting on the car after running away from Mr Woodland.

Local anger

The case sparked a diplomatic row because the US delayed handing over the airman for four days. The US argued it needed assurances that he would be given fair treatment.

Correspondents say Japanese law generally provides fewer protections for defendants than in the United States, and acquittals are rare.

Monday's courtroom session was the third since the trial began in September. Closing arguments are scheduled for mid-February.

The case has renewed local resentment about the conduct of the large number of US troops on the southern Japanese island - more than half of the 50,000 personnel in Japan.

In 1995 three servicemen raped a 12-year-old Okinawan girl, sparking massive protests.

See also:

09 Oct 01 | Asia-Pacific
Woman testifies in Okinawa rape case
11 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
Okinawa suspect denies rape
25 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Okinawa 'rape victim' attacks media
19 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
US rape suspect charged in Japan
07 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Japan detains US rape suspect
02 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
Tense atmosphere in Okinawa
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