A U.S. Marine was sentenced yesterday to four years and six months in prison for a violent sexual assault attempt on a local woman that resulted in injury.
Prosecutors had sought a six-year prison term for Lance Cpl. Jordan Begaye, 22, who belongs to the U.S. Marine Corps Camp Foster in the central part of Okinawa Prefecture's main island.
According to the court ruling issued on May 26, the defendant pulled a woman from a car in a parking lot in Naha and attempted to sexually assault her.
Begaye got on top of her and punched her several times in the face, injuring her face and head. The woman took about a week to recover, according to the ruling.
The court ruled that the defendant did not have a strong intent to sexually assault the woman, citing his failed attempt to do so. The court called his act vicious and criticized him for being selfish because he assaulted a stranger, which left no room for leniency.
Begaye's defense team said they are not planning to appeal the ruling.
On May 26, the members of the prefectural assembly who belong to the special committee on U.S. bases in the prefecture visited the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau and the U.S. consulate general in Naha.
The assembly members handed a resolution and written opinion in protest to officials at both offices and urged them to prevent a similar incident from occurring again.
The documents were unanimously adopted at a plenary session of the prefectural assembly on May 13.