Former Marine gets life in prison for rape


1 sentenced a former U.S. Marine to life in prison for raping and murdering a 20-year-old Okinawan woman, rejecting his defense that he did not intend to kill the victim.

The case sparked outrage on the southern Japanese island where residents have long complained about heavy US military presence and crimes linked to them.

Shinzato in November denied intending to kill the woman, identified as Rina Shimabukuro, but confessed that he had assaulted her.

The remains of the woman, who was taking a walk at the time, were found on May 19 that year in a wooded area in the village of Onna, north of Uruma.

U.S, military newspaper Stars and Stripes named the killer as Kenneth Franklin Gadson and said he went by his Japanese wife's surname of Shinzato. The plan developed after a military aircraft accident near the current base and the 1995 rape of a girl by three American servicemen enraged Okinawans, but has since made little progress due to protests.

Hawaii Tests Warning Siren in Case of North Korea Nuclear Attack
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Half of about 50,000 American troops stationed in Japan are on Okinawa.

The Okinawa parliament adopted a resolution and a letter addressed to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty with the demand to withdraw US Marine Corps from Okinawa in light of a deadly vehicle accident caused by a drunken US marine.

Witnesses told Japanese media that the Marine, 21-year-old Nicholas James McLean, ran a red light, and prosecutors later arrested him for drunk driving. A breath test showed he was up to three times over the legal limit for alcohol, Reuters reported.

According to The New York Times, the incident ignited widespread anger among people on Okinawa, shaking an already volatile situation surrounding the stationing of about 47,000 American troops on the island.

The U.S. military says the crime rate among its ranks in Japan is lower than among the general public.