An East Texas sailor accused of raping a woman in Okinawa, Japan denies the allegations.
Christopher Browning, 23, and another sailor are currently in the custody of Japanese authorities. A navy official said the men could be held up to 23 days before charges are filed.
On Thursday, CDR K.C. Marshall, Navy Forces Japan Spokesman released this statement, "Okinawa Police are holding two U.S. Navy Sailors in
custody while investigating an alleged physical and sexual assault of a
Japanese citizen woman. The incident
allegedly occurred in Okinawa in the early morning hours of Oct. 16. The Okinawa Police have jurisdiction over
this case and all levels of the U.S. country team (Embassy, USFJ and U.S. Navy)
are cooperating and supporting GOJ and Okinawan authorities in accordance with
the SOFA as they continue their investigation.
The U.S. Navy and its leadership take seriously all incidents and
allegations involving misconduct by Sailors wherever they may occur. We deeply
regret the grief and trauma the victim has endured, the anger it has caused
among people in Okinawa, and the mistrust this event has caused between the
U.S. Navy and our Japanese hosts."
ABC News reports tonight that Browning denies the allegations, but that 23-year-old Skyler Andrew Dozierwalker of Muskogee, Oklahoma has confessed to the crime.
Browning graduated from Athens High School in 2007, and several teachers there said Wednesday they remember a student who was respectful and stayed out of trouble.
Christopher Browning attended Athens High School for four years. In that time, he spent two years in a vocational auto mechanics class taught by Don Andrews.
"Chris was easy to get along with. He always had a smile on his face. He was a good student," Andrews said in a phone interview. "He was a mechanically-inclined kid, and that was what I was looking for at the time."
Andrews said their projects included building cars from the ground up.
"He didn't have to be shown everything fifteen times. You could show him something once and he pretty well had it. He was a good boy," Andrews said.
In Browning's senior yearbook he said he planned to attend Trinity Valley Community College and "learn to create graphic design on cars and bikes."
Instead, he enlisted in the Navy in April 2008, and has been stationed at the Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 59 at the Fort Worth Naval Air Station.
A Navy official said the men were temporarily stationed in Japan to work on a plane crew.
The plane's crew had flown from Atsugi to Okinawa, but were required to stay overnight on the island because of rest requirements.
While there, Browning and Dozierwalker are accused of sexually assaulting, robbing, and slashing the neck a local woman in her mid-twenties in front of her apartment building.
Japanese media reports say the two men had been drinking at a local bar before the incident took place.
It's a charge Browning is denying tonight - a charge his former teacher said he was shocked to hear.
"It doesn't compute with me, but again, I'm going back several years when I had him," Andrews said. "But at that time he did not strike me as the kind of a kid that would get into a problem like this."
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos said Wednesday that the U.S. government will cooperate fully with Japanese authorities in their investigation of the matter.
KLTV contacted Christopher Browning's family today about the arrests, but they declined to comment.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-06-17 23:31:17 GMT
According to a Smith County Sheriff's Office arrest affidavit, the man accused of shooting and killing his father told investigators he had just returned home from camping at the lake with his childrenMore >>
According to a Smith County Sheriff's Office arrest affidavit, the man accused of shooting and killing his father told investigators he had just returned home from camping at the lake with his children when he got into an argument with his father.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 12:10 PM EDT2013-06-18 16:10:14 GMT
From the Texas Department of Public Safety: AUSTIN, TX - Robert Anthony Lopez, 48, a Texas 10 Most Wanted Fugitive and Tango Blast gang member, is now in custody after being arrested on Friday in SanMore >>
Lopez has an extensive criminal history that includes aggravated sexual assault of a child, assault causing bodily injury, injury to a disabled person, violation of protective order and prohibited weapons.More >>