No overnight stays in Naha for III MEF after rape charge


No overnight stays in Naha for III MEF after rape charge

by: . | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: March 21, 2016

Marines and sailors will no longer be able to stay overnight in Naha, a move made days after a sailor was charged with raping a woman in Okinawa’s capital city.

Servicemembers under command of the III Marine Expeditionary Force cannot stay overnight south of Marine Camp Kinser, a Marine spokesman told Marine Corps Times on Thursday.

The order would also prevent servicemembers from overnight stays near Okinawa’s sole international airport.

Marine Corps officials were not available for comment Friday afternoon.

The newest restriction on Okinawa servicemembers — who already must obey a nighttime curfew and other restrictions — comes after Seaman Apprentice Justin Castellanos, 24, was arrested Sunday morning following allegations that he raped a Japanese woman in a Naha hotel.

Japanese police alleged that Castellanos found the woman passed out in a hallway and took her into his room. Castellanos denied the allegations, police said.

Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, III Marine Expeditionary Force commander, referred to the allegation as a “great shame and dishonor of us all,” in an apology to Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga.

Commanders typically make customary, public apologies following high-profile servicemember arrests in Japan and South Korea.

Servicemembers under Nicholson’s command will also participate in mandatory training on personal responsibility and decision-making, the Marine Corps Times reported.