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U.S. Marine Released in Japan

January 26, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ A U.S. Marine was released Wednesday after the military reached an agreement with a Japanese woman who accused him of trying to rape her at a disco on the island of Okinawa, Kyodo News agency said.

Lance Cpl. Oswald McDonald, 29, was arrested on Jan. 14 after the woman, whose name was not released, said he dragged her into a corner of the disco and tried to sexually assault her.

He backed off after she resisted, and the woman was not physically injured, police said. She dropped the charges Wednesday after reaching a settlement with the U.S. military, Kyodo said, citing Naha prosecutors.

Prosecutors were not available for comment, said a guard who answered their office phone late Wednesday. An answering machine picked up at Futenma Air Station, where McDonald is based.

Officials could not immediately provide McDonald’s hometown after his arrest.

The arrest, in the city of Okinawa, came months after the U.S. military lifted a four-year curfew barring service members from the city center. The ban, lifted in October, was meant to curtail fights and drunkenness.

The curfew was imposed in October 1995, a month after three U.S. servicemen raped a 12-year-old schoolgirl on another part of the island. The crime triggered protests against the U.S. military presence.

Okinawans have long complained about crime and congestion linked to the U.S. bases. About two-thirds of the 47,000 U.S. troops in Japan are in Okinawa, 1,000 miles southwest of Tokyo.

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