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    Japan Court Convicts 3 Ex-Servicemen in Sexual Assault Case Brought by Former Junior Soldier

    Japan Court Convicts 3 Ex-Servicemen in Sexual Assault Case Brought by Former Junior Soldier

    — A Japanese court on Tuesday convicted three former soldiers in a sexual assault case that authorities had dropped until the victim, a former service member, came forward demanding a reinvestigation and prompting a -wide harassment probe.

    The Fukushima District Court sentenced the former Japanese soldiers to two years in prison but suspended the sentences for four years — meaning they won't actually serve time in prison.

    Still, the ruling is a rare victory in a country that consistently ranks near the bottom in international gender equality surveys and where sexual misconduct complaints are often disregarded and victims tend to face criticisms for speaking up.

    The case filed by Rina Gonoi in August 2021 was initially dropped. Nine months later, she came forward and demanded the case be reinvestigated, saying the experience caused her to give up her military career. Gonoi said she has been attacked on social media for coming forward, but that she did so because she wanted to prevent similar problems for other female service members.

    Gonoi welcomed the ruling, saying it would prevent future victims. “Many victims still cannot speak up, but now we have this verdict, and I hope that more people come out and speak up,” she told reporters.

    Her revelation prompted a military-wide investigation into sexual harassment and other abuse allegations in September 2022, and prosecutors reopened her case.

    The…

    Continue Reading This Article At Military.com

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