Navy: Sailor allegedly raped, tried to kill female sailor

AP News
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Posted: Aug 15, 2016 6:18 PM

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — A military court arraigned a U.S. sailor on Monday on charges of raping and attempting to kill a fellow sailor and for allegedly attacking a civilian woman in a separate incident months later.

In both attacks, Seaman Recruit Xavier Johnson wrapped his hands around his victims' necks and smothered their faces with either a pillow or a comforter, according to the charging documents.

Johnson was serving on the aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush whose home port is in Norfolk, Virginia. The first alleged assault occurred in nearby Portsmouth, Virginia, in September.

Johnson is accused of holding a pillow over a female sailor's face, choking her, banging her head against the floor and then sexually assaulting her while she was unconscious. In the following days, he threatened the woman and tried to persuade her to recant her initial statement and blame her injuries on falling downstairs, authorities said.

In April, Johnson allegedly tried to smother a civilian woman in Norfolk. As with the first victim, he allegedly bit her and ripped hair from her head, the court document stated.

Johnson has been in the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake since late April, shortly after the second attack. He did not enter a plea in a military court on Monday, according to media reports. He's originally from Tennessee and has served in the Navy since January 2015.