Okinawa Marine Gets 4 Years for Teen Sex Abuse

US court martial accepts his plea to lesser charges
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2008 8:40 AM CDT
Lt. Gen. Edward A. Rice, the commander of U.S. Forces Japan, tells reporters about the verdict.   (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
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(Newser) – The US marine accused of raping a 14-year-old Japanese girl was sentenced by court martial today to four years in prison, after pleading guilty to abusive sexual conduct, Reuters reports. The other charges against 38-year-old Sgt. Tyrone Hadnott, including rape and kidnapping, were dropped. With his plea deal, Hadnott will serve only three of the four years. He was dishonorably discharged.  

Though the case sparked massive outcry in Japan, Japanese authorities couldn’t prosecute Hadnott because his young accuser withdrew her charges. Instead he was tried under the stricter US military justice system. “This is an example of how we in the United States military will continue to hold our members accountable for their actions,” said a top US commander. (Read more Okinawa stories.)