Monday, May 19, 2008

Pour l'exemple - Hadnott sentenced

Last month I was stunned at the U.S. military's filing a mountain of charges against Staff Sergeant Tyrone Hadnott in relation to an alleged rape of a 14 year girl in Okinawa on February 10.

I was beside myself. I could not believe that a U.S. military court could try and convict a service member of serious sexual assault when Japanese prosecutors, laboring under extreme political and community pressure, could not file charges.

Despairing that my own lack of faith in law enforcement may have tainted my assessment of the case, I posted the following on April 25, the day the news broke of Hadnott's arraignment:

I must admit, I have hoped Sergeant Hadnott not guilty of the crimes of which he has been accused. I suppose I have not lost hope that he is still partly innocent--that he is being charged with very serious crimes in order that he may be intimidated into confessing a lesser crime as a part of a plea bargain--a dirty trick but one exasperated prosecutors will employ in order to win a conviction sometimes.

It is a long shot though--and one that unfairly impugns the motives of JAG officers--a really bad initial assumption, generally.

Not so long a shot and possibly not so unfair, as it turns out.

The extremely serious charges against Staff Sgt. Hadnott -- all bargained away.

Hadnott goes to the brig for three years for the crime of abusive sexual conduct: touching the victim in a sexual manner over clothing.

US Marine gets 4 years on sex charge

By TOMOKO A. HOSAKA –TOKYO — A U.S. Marine accused of raping a 14-year-old Japanese girl was convicted of a lesser charge Friday during a court martial and sentenced to four years in prison in a case that inflamed public anger at the American military presence on Okinawa.

Staff Sgt. Tyrone L. Hadnott, 38, was found guilty of abusive sexual conduct, said Master Sgt. Chuck Albrecht. He said four other charges — rape of a child under 16, making false official statements, adultery and "kidnapping through inveigling," or trickery — were dropped.

Though Hadnott was sentenced to four years in prison, he will only serve a maximum of three years, with the fourth year of the sentence suspended under a pretrial agreement, the Marines said in a statement...
Justice has been served.

I am sure of it.

We have nothing to fear.

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