Court finds former mayor guilty of molesting minor

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Court finds former mayor guilty of molesting minorECPAT/STOP Japan

NAGOYA — The Nagoya District Court on Feb. 18 found the former mayor of Owase, Mie Prefecture, guilty of molesting a 15-year-old girl.
The court handed Hisayoshi Okuda, 45, a six-month suspended sentence. Judge Tokiharu Amano said, “The victim’s testimony is trustworthy, and it is clear that the accused committed the crime. We judge that he is not remorseful, and the victim has suffered great psychological pain.”
According to the court, on July 8, 2010, Okuda touched the breasts of a 15-year-old girl at a cram school in Kasugai, Aichi Prefecture. The defense pled not guilty for the duration of the trial, arguing that the school had glass windows making it visible from the outside and rendering it highly improbable that a person would commit obscene acts there.
However, the court did not accept the argument, ruling, “There were posters on the glass making it difficult for passersby to easily see what was happening inside.”
Okuda was first elected mayor of Owase in March 2008. In March 2009, he was fined 500,000 yen for holding another job at the same time as he held office. The issue led to two votes of no-confidence against him and his automatic removal from office, followed by his defeat in the July mayoral election that year.
February 18, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

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