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Page last updated at 06:44 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 07:44 UK

US marine guilty of Japan assault

Protest on Okinawa
The case revived bitter memories on Okinawa

A US military court has jailed a marine for three years for sexually abusing a 14-year-old Japanese girl on the southern island of Okinawa.

Staff Sgt Tyrone Hadnott, 38, pleaded guilty to assaulting the girl in his car in February.

But he was cleared of rape and other charges including kidnapping through luring, military officials said.

The case caused widespread anger in Okinawa, where there are tensions over America's large military presence.

Hadnott had admitted forcibly kissing the girl, but denied allegations he raped her in a car park. He said he did not know she was under age.

The incident led to protests in Okinawa, where it revived bitter memories of the 1995 gang rape of a 12-year-old girl on the island by American soldiers.

The US ambassador apologised to the people of Okinawa, while the US military imposed a curfew on all personnel and their families.

Hadnott was not indicted by Japanese prosecutors because the girl decided not to file charges.

But US military officials charged him with a series of offences.

He has also been dishonourably discharged from the US military.


SEE ALSO
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29 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific
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13 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific
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11 Feb 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Okinawans reject anti-US option
19 Nov 06 |  Asia-Pacific

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