By RICHARD LARDNER and YURI KAGEYAMA
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press
TOKYO — After a night of partying in Hiroshima City, the woman agreed to share a room at the Tokyo Inn Hotel with the U.S. Marine.
As soon as the door closed, the tryst turned violent, she told investigators. He tore her clothes off, forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her, she said.
The Marine claimed the sex was consensual. But he also acknowledged that she "might have perceived it as a rape," an October 2011 investigative report said.
There would be no prison sentence, though. At a summary court-martial, a forum for adjudicating minor offenses, he was found guilty of adultery and failure to obey an order. He was fined $978 and busted to E-1, the military's lowest rank.
The case is one of more than 1,000 reports of sex crimes involving U.S. military personnel based in Japan between 2005 and early 2013. The documents, obtained by The Associated Press through a Freedom of Information Act request, open a rare window into the opaque world of military justice and show a pattern of random and inconsistent judgments.
The AP analysis found the handling of allegations verged on the chaotic, with seemingly strong cases often reduced to lesser charges. In two rape cases, commanders overruled recommendations to court-martial and dropped the charges instead.