White Bear Lake teen charged with raping girl on U.S. base in Okinawa
- Article by: Paul Walsh
- Star Tribune
- May 12, 2014 - 4:57 PM
A Twin Cities 18-year-old living with his uncle on a U.S. military base in Japan has been charged with plying a high school classmate with alcohol, raping his motionless victim in front of others and recording the act on cellphone video, authorities said Monday.
Ricky I. Sherwood, of White Bear Lake, was charged last week in federal court in St. Paul with sexual abuse and producing and possessing child pornography.
Sherwood, a student and part-time lifeguard on Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa, allegedly assaulted the intoxicated 17-year-old girl on Feb. 11 while other classmates were in the room at his uncle’s home.
The girl’s blood alcohol content measured 0.208 percent that evening at a military hospital, according to the charges.
One of the male schoolmates in the room can be heard on the video saying, “She looks like she’s gonna die,” according to the criminal complaint.
Interviewed the next day by investigators, Sherwood admitted giving the girl alcohol, having sex with her and video-recording the assault, according to the complaint.
Sherwood was arrested Wednesday at the base and made an initial appearance via telephone before Magistrate Judge Tony Leung, who ordered the teen transferred from Japan to the United States.
Sherwood has been living on the base with his uncle, a Marine staff sergeant, who also is his legal guardian, according to the complaint. The teen was born in Minnesota, and his mother now lives in Mexico.
According to the complaint:
The girl left school and went to Sherwood’s home with him and other male classmates. She drank two cups of alcohol and remembered nothing after that until she was being treated by emergency responders in a park that evening.
Students at the home told investigators that the girl was so drunk that she was “unable to stand, walk or dress herself” after Sherwood raped her.
She was put in a chair and carried outside to a car.
Investigators watched the video, saw Sherwood rape the girl. She did not move during the attack and “had her eyes closed.”
The girl was later spotted by two school counselors that evening in a park on the base with several male students and appeared intoxicated. From there, she went to the hospital.
The United States has jurisdiction in this case because Sherwood is a base employee and accompanying a member of the armed forces overseas. He faces at least one year in prison should he be convicted.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482
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