Prosecutors urge 5-year sentence for former judo champion over rape charge
Prosecutors this week called for a 5-year jail sentence for retired double Olympic judo gold medalist Masato Uchishiba who is on trial for allegedly raping one of his teenage students in a hotel room.
The trial opened in September and a verdict is expected in early January.
Uchishiba, 34, who won the 66kg title at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, has pleaded not guilty. He maintains he had consensual sex with the girl, who was drunk after a training camp party in Tokyo in September 2011.
Prosecutors say Uchishiba assaulted the girl, a member of the college judo team he coached, in a hotel room after she fell asleep at a karaoke parlor, intoxicated.
“When she became aware, she resisted but he turned up the volume of the television and covered her mouth with his hand,” prosecutors said.
The alleged victim is not being identified publicly because her exact age at the time has not been given.
Uchishiba, who is married, admits that sex took place, but denies it was forceful.
“She was unmistakably awake. What we did was by mutual consent. I absolutely did not assault her,” Uchishiba told the court in earlier testimony.
Uchishiba was hailed as a hero at home when he became the first Japanese to win a gold medal in any sport at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Japan’s judo medal haul of two was its lowest ever.
However, after the rape allegation was made last year, he was sacked by Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare where he had been coaching its women’s judo team since April 2010.