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U.S. Sailor Sentenced in Japan

February 16, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ A Japanese district court sentenced a U.S. sailor to five years in prison for assaulting a woman in a parking lot and taking her purse, a court official said Wednesday.

The official, Masashi Kubo, quoted Judge Hiroshi Hamasaki as saying the crime committed by Navy Petty Officer 3rd class Cedric Dolphus was ``selfish, short-tempered and vicious, but he is now reflecting on his conduct.″

Dolphus, 31, of Houston, Texas, was charged with robbery and robbery resulting in bodily injury. The maximum penalty could have been life imprisonment.

Dolphus, stationed at Sasebo U.S. Naval Base in Nagasaki Prefecture, was charged with attacking a 45-year-old woman as she was about to enter a convenience store, pushing her down and smashing her face against the pavement Oct. 6, 1999.

Police said Dolphus took the woman’s bag, which contained about $1,100. He was arrested by at the scene.

Nagasaki is 610 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Terry Ragan, a spokesman at Sasebo Naval Base, said Dolphus was assigned to the base in July 1999. He declined to say whether Dolphus would appeal.

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