updated 4/24/2008 9:53:38 PM ET 2008-04-25T01:53:38

U.S. forces in Japan have charged a Marine with raping a 14-year-old girl in Okinawa, the Marines said Friday, pressing ahead with a case that spurred protests against the American presence on the island.

U.S. military charges against Staff Sgt. Tyrone L. Hadnott include rape of a child under 16, abusive sexual conduct, making a false official statement, adultery and "kidnapping through inveigling," or trickery.

No date was set for the court-martial. The charges were made Monday, but the military did not announce them until Friday.

Japanese police initially apprehended Hadnott in the alleged Feb. 10 attack, but released him after the girl dropped charges. U.S. authorities then investigated the case under the strict military justice code.

Japanese police earlier said Hadnott had admitted to investigators he forced the girl down and kissed her, but that he denied raping her.

Hadnott's Feb. 11 arrest — as well as a series of other damaging criminal accusations against American troops — inflamed popular anger at the U.S. military presence.

Japan hosts some 50,000 American troops under a security treaty. About half of them are based on the tiny island of Okinawa, where residents have complained for years about crime, pollution and crowding associated with the military.

The rape accusation prompted the U.S. military to severely restrict troop movements on Okinawa and elsewhere, and conduct an ongoing review of its anti-sexual assault education programs and guidelines.

The announcement of the charging of Hadnott followed the indictment of a U.S. sailor Thursday in the stabbing death of a taxi driver last month.

Olatunbosun Ugbogu, a 22-year-old Nigerian citizen serving in the U.S. Navy, was charged with stabbing the driver to death near a U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, on March 19.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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