OKINAWA, Japan, June 30 (UPI) — A U.S. military contractor and former Marine was charged Thursday in the rape and stabbing death of a 20-year-old Okinawa woman in a case that has fanned anti-American sentiment on the southern Japanese island.
Kenneth Shinzato, 32, a former U.S. Marine employed at Kaden Air Base, is accused of raping and stabbing office worker Rina Shimabukuro. He was charged last month with dumping her body.
Shinzato’s birth name is Kenneth Franklin Gadson, but he goes by his wife’s last name.
Police said Shinzato was armed with a stick and a knife and hit the victim “with murderous intent” on the back of the head on April 29. He allegedly dragged her into the bushes and strangled and stabbed her while trying to rape her. Police said the attack was premeditated. Shinzato allegedly gave police the location of her body in May, some three weeks after she went missing.
Shinzato’s attorney said he attempted to strangle the woman after he attempted suicide with sleeping pills.
The U.S. military restricted service members in Japan shortly after the woman’s body was discovered, imposing curfews and banning the consumption of alcohol temporarily.