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Okinawa base worker to admit rape, but not intentional murder

A former U.S. base worker will admit to a charge of rape leading to the death of a Japanese woman last year, a new development in the case that rocked the tiny island prefecture and led to a surge in anti-American sentiment.

Kenneth Franklin Gadson, a former Marine who worked as a civilian at a Kadena Air Base cable and internet company, said through his attorneys that he killed Rina Shimabukuro, 20, while attempting to rape her, according to Naha District Court documents filed Friday.

“We do not dispute the charge of rape resulting in death,” the documents said, adding that Gadson admits to striking Shimabukuro on the head from behind while attempting to rape her. “As a result, the victim died … The defendant had no murderous intent, therefore we dispute the charge of murder.”

Gadson’s first pretrial conference is scheduled for March 10. The trial is expected to begin sometime around June.

The admission’s timing surprised some legal scholars, since prosecutors haven’t yet presented evidence in court. It was most likely an attempt at a lesser sentence by showing remorse, which is considered very important in the Japanese justice system.

“Generally speaking, if you do not admit anything while there is obvious evidence, the attitude is seen as atrocious, with no remorse; thereby, the sentence tends to be longer,” said Tetsumi Takara, a law professor at the University of the Ryukyus.

Takara said the death penalty cannot be discounted in this case, though it is rarely handed down in cases involving a single death.

“There is a possibility that he chose this route for a lesser sentence by giving a good impression to [the civilian] judges (similar to an American jury),” Takara said. “Having said that, it is still strange to admit the charge before trial.”

Gadson was charged with murder and rape resulting in death by Japanese prosecutors two months after Shimabukuro disappeared on April 28. He was also charged with the illegal disposal of a body.

Following interrogation, he took police to the wooded area where her remains were found. He confessed to the crime, police said, but his lawyers argued he was questioned while under the influence of sleeping pills after a suicide attempt.

The Rowdy American Military Base Causing Friction With Japanese Locals (2010)

Futemma military base in Okinawa was once dubbed an “accident waiting to happen”, and the Japanese believe that they have waited long enough.

US Military Rapes & Murders Okinawans

Okinawa Residents Rally To Protest Crimes By U.S. Military Personnel

Hello reader!

My name is Kentaro Takaoka. I was born in Japan in 1988 and when I was 8 my family moved to London. We moved because my parents couldn’t handle it anymore…Handle the slavish status of Japanese people after WWII. I know that my nation did bad thing during that time, but we are already third generation after those people and we don’t deserve it…We don’t deserve that our children are raped and killed. Yes, you know it…You all know it but remain silent. After WWII Japan has been occupied by US military forces. These forces do everything they want on our territory and no law can stop them. And our government remains silent too. But I won’t…So this is what my site about.

The terrible and horrifyingly shocking things US militaries have done to Japanese people…

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Cruelest cases

Since 1972 US military personnel have committed over 5,800 crimes on Japan’s Okinawa Islands. Here are the most famous of them:

1995: the gang rape of 12-year old, sixth-grade Japanese school girl by a sailor and two Marines stationed at Camp Hansen.

2006: the robbing and beating to death of 56-year old woman by a Yokosuka Naval Base sailor.

2008: tha stabbing death of a taxi driver by a Yokosuka NB sailor.

2008: the death of 17-year old Kadena Air Base Kubasaki H.S. student resulting from DUI 20-year old USFJ dependent.

2009: the hit-and-run death of 66-year old in Okinawa.

2011: the vehicular manslaughter of a 19-year old Okinawan male by 24-year US Army employee.

2012: the rape and robbery of 20-year old Okinawan girl by a US sailor.

2016: US Marine Kenneth Franklin Shinzato was arrested in Okinawa for stabbing and strangling a 20-year-old Japanese woman near US Kadena Air Base. Rina Shimabukuro disappeared on April 28 and was later found dead in a forest. Franklin has reportedly admitted to raping her and committing the murder.

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