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Japan Sends U.S. Soldier to Prison

March 8, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ A U.S. sailor stationed in southern Japan was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison for beating and sexually assaulting a woman last year, a court official said.

Seaman Recruit Robert Corona, 21, was convicted of indecent assault resulting in injury by a regional court in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture (state).

According to the ruling, Corona assaulted a woman at a bar in Sasebo on July 7, leaving her with injuries that took 10 days to heal. The city is home to a large U.S. naval base.

Court official Naoto Ozaki quoted Judge Hiroshi Hamasaki as calling the crime ``selfish and vicious.″

The sentence comes less than a month after another U.S. sailor stationed in Sasebo was given a five-year jail term for attacking a woman in a parking lot and stealing her purse.

Prosecutors had sought a three-and-a-half year sentence for Corona, who has 15 days to decide whether to appeal Wednesday’s ruling.

Corona’s hometown was not immediately available. Nagasaki is located 610 miles southwest of Tokyo.

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