According to this article by Martin Fackler in the International Herald Tribune, the U.S. Marine accused of raping a 14-year-old Okinawan girl has been released from police custody after the girl dropped her accusations.

38-year-old Staff Seargent Tyrone Luther Hadnott is back in Marine custody after Japanese prosecutors dropped the charges. It appears the girl wants to move on and avoid the stress caused by a legal battle.

Whether or not this will satisfy Okinawan citizens is another question. The rape case has been a source of anger among Okinawans and brought back bad memories of the highly publicized 1995 rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl by three American servicemen. Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda called the accused crime “unforgivable,” while many Okinawans have questioned the presence of 40,000 American servicemen. Earlier this week, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed deep regret over the incident and said that justice would be sought.


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