The U.S. military says it took a Marine into custody Friday who was being held by Japanese authorities on charges of raping a teenager on the southern island of Okinawa.

U.S. officials say they are continuing to investigate the alleged rape, adding that it is too early to speculate whether any further legal action would be taken against the U.S. Marine.

Japan's Kyodo News Agency and Jiji Press say the U.S. serviceman was released after the alleged victim's family decided not to press charges.

Staff Sergeant Tyrone Luther Hadnott was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly assaulting a 14-year-old girl on Okinawa. Hadnott denied the rape charges, but admitted to forcibly kissing the girl.

The case sparked an uproar in Japan.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice voiced Washington's deepest regret for the incident when she visited Japan earlier this week. She also voiced her hope that it would not hurt ties between the United States and Japan.

After the incident, the U.S. military imposed tight new restrictions on troops, their families and civilians working in Okinawa and elsewhere.

The case brought back memories of the rape of a 12-year-old girl in Okinawa in 1995 by three U.S. servicemen, which resulted in massive protests against the U.S. military presence there.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.