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U.S. Marine guilty of 'wrongful sexual contact' in Japan

  • Story Highlights
  • Sentencing to begin Friday for Lance Cpl. Larry A. Dean
  • Dean is among four U.S. Marines charged in alleged gang assault of teenager
  • Charged Marines range in age from 20 to 39
  • U.S. military has bred resentment among locals
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TOKYO, Japan (CNN) -- A U.S. Marine accused of raping a 19-year-old Japanese woman last year was found guilty Thursday of "committing wrongful sexual contact and indecent acts," the U.S. military said, but he was acquitted of rape.

The sentencing hearing for Lance Cpl. Larry A. Dean, 20, is scheduled to begin on Friday.

Dean is among four Marines under court-martial in the case. The others are Sgt. Lanaeus J. Braswell, 25; Gunnery Sgt. Carl M. Anderson, 39; and Gunnery Sgt. Jarvis D. Raynor, 34, the military said.

Local media reported that the four men met the woman in a restaurant in Hiroshima on October 14, 2007, then allegedly attacked and raped her in a car in nearby parking lot. Japanese authorities investigated but decided in November not to file charges.

Dean also was found guilty of conspiracy to commit indecent acts and two minor charges. He was acquitted of conspiracy to kidnap or rape.

The case is similar to a recent alleged sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl involving a U.S. Marine on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa. That case sparked outrage and stirred memories of an earlier rape committed by U.S. servicemen.

Staff Sgt. Tyrone Luther Hadnott, 38, was charged last month with the rape of a child under 16, abusive sexual contact with a child, making a false official statement, adultery and kidnapping, the military said.

In February, Japanese authorities released Hadnott after the girl dropped the allegations, but the Marine Corps conducted its own investigation to see if Hadnott violated codes of military justice. The military is holding him at a Marine facility.

More than 40,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Japan, most of them on Okinawa, which accounts for less than 1 percent of Japan's total area.

The U.S. military presence has at times bred resentment among locals, who have long complained about crime, noise and accidents. Anti-American sentiment boiled over in 1995, after three American servicemen were convicted in the kidnapping and gang rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan schoolgirl.

Two years ago, a U.S. civilian military employee was jailed for nine years for raping two women.

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