Minnesota teen charged with rape on US base in Japan


A White Bear Lake teenager who was living with his uncle on a U.S. military base in Japan has been accused of raping an intoxicated classmate in front of others and recording it, according to reports.

Ricky Sherwood, 18, a student and part-time lifeguard on Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, was arrested Wednesday at the base and appeared via telephone in federal court in St. Paul, the Star Tribune says. The magistrate judge ordered him to be transferred from Japan back to Minnesota, the Pioneer Press says.

The FBI said in a release that he was indicted on charges of sexual abuse, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography on Monday.

Media reports have not yet quoted Sherwood or a lawyer for Sherwood about the charges.

A criminal complaint says Sherwood admitted to giving the girl alcohol, having sex with her and recording on Feb. 11, according to reports.

That evening, two counselors from the high school that serves the base saw the 17-year-old victim, who also lives on the base, at a park with some classmates and noticed she was intoxicated, the criminal complaint says. Emergency responders then brought her to the hospital, where her blood alcohol content was 0.208 percent, according to the complaint.

The victim told investigators that she went to Sherwood's home after school with some classmates and he gave them alcohol. She said she didn't remember anything between drinking a second cup of alcohol and being treated by first responders in the park, according to the complaint.

After speaking with Sherwood, investigators reviewed the video, which showed the sexual encounter, the Pioneer Press says. The criminal complaint notes that Sherwood appeared coherent and the girl intoxicated – "her eyes closed, she was not moving and she lay at an awkward angle."

Also in the video, a male classmate can be heard saying, "She looks like she's gonna die," the Pioneer Press says. Other witnesses told investigators that the victim was so drunk she was "unable to stand, walk or dress herself" after Sherwood raped her, according to the complaint.

The FBI says the United States has jurisdiction over the case because Sherwood is employed at the base and is living there with a member of the U.S. military.

The Star Tribune says if he's convicted, he could face at least one year in prison.

The Japan Daily Press says Sherwood's uncle has legal custody of him while his mother lives in Mexico.

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