Prosecutors urge 5-year sentence for former judo champion over rape charge

TOKYO —

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.

AFP/Japan Today

  • -1

    kimuzukashiiiii

    Its a bit of a tough one .... often famous guys do get targeted by girls who cry rape, and then I feel bad for them, but if a girl was truly raped, of course she is the victim..

    Very tough call ...

  • -5

    Ch1n4Sailor

    He hasn't even been found guilty yet, and the prosecution is already calling for a sentence...?

    100,000 yen says he gets a suspended sentence! No actual jail time!

  • -5

    Iowan

    No bet. You are right.

  • 5

    ebisen

    She (a minor) was under his (an adult's) responsibility . He, allowing her to drink alcohol was already illegal. Then, as a drunk minor she can't legally consent to an sexual act, therefore his claim doesn't hold water, just by looking at the provable facts. I don't think they need to prove her story any further, considering he already confessed into having sex with her.

    So it is at least a statutory rape level, and I think this comes with at least 5 years.

  • 4

    mikihouse

    this man needs to be locked up for a long time

  • 8

    LFRAgain

    This guy's a reall winner, isn't he?

    How many ways can we categorize what an asshat Masato Uchishiba is?

    1) Extramarital affair.
    2) Extramarital affair with a student in his care.
    3) Extramarital affair with a student under the legal age of consent for sexual contact with an adult.
    4) Extramarital affair with a student under the legal age of consent who got hammered on alcohol in full knowledge of her instructor, despite being under the legal age to drink.

    What a lovely human being, eh? I'm certain his wife, family, and friends must be beaming with pride.

    And this is all without the charge of rape being thrown in. Based on other cases I've seen here, the prosecutor has a very good chance to nail this jerk to the wall for the Japanese legal equivalent of "moral turpitude," particularly since he was a teacher, one of the most, if not the most respected position in Japanese society.

    But as ebisen points out, a charge of statutory rape becomes automatic with his admission of sex with the girl, which means he should face the full 5 years, if verdict indeed comes across as guilty.

    Honestly, I hope he gets more, but I suspect, as other posters pointed out, he'll see something akin to a fine and a suspended sentence.

  • -3

    tmarie

    LFRA, while he's a jerk, tat doesn't make him automatically guilty of rape. Indeed, a hard case. Usually folks here just confess. This guy isn't which makes me wonder who is lying.

    Also, while she is considered a minor to drink, isn't she of legal age to marry and have sex?!

    If found guilty, five years is getting off lightly. Then again, most rapist here get nothing so better than that.

  • -1

    alliswellinjapan

    Guilty or not, having sex with three students on a consecutive basis is not normal in my book. Neither are his exhibitionistic testimonies which reflect his strong addiction towards sex in general. Suspect this may very well become the first case of sexual addiction to be made public in Japan.

  • 2

    ebisen

    LFRA, while he's a jerk, tat doesn't make him automatically guilty of rape.

    If she is a minor under influence of alcohol, while under his supervision, she legally can't give consent. That makes it statutory rape.

  • -5

    tmarie

    How is she a minor for sex?!

  • 1

    DudeDeuce

    LFRA, while he's a jerk, tat doesn't make him automatically guilty of rape. Indeed, a hard case. Usually folks here just confess. This guy isn't which makes me wonder who is lying.

    Looks like another Kobe Bryant case.

  • 2

    Mirai Hayashi

    Not buying that he's guilty, but he will be judged to be guilty none the less.

  • 3

    aisai

    Also, while she is considered a minor to drink, isn't she of legal age to marry and have sex?!

    Japanese Civil Code says the following regading the legal age of geting married: 婚姻 39.婚姻は民法の規定により、男は18歳、女は16歳以上であることが要件となっており、20歳未満の婚姻については、父母の同意が必要となっている。なお、婚姻後は20歳未満の者でも単独で法律行為の当事者となり得る。

    So if this women was less than 20 at the the time, then it seems that could not legally get married without the permision of her parents (or legal guardian).

  • 1

    aisai

    Also, regarding the crimes of a sexual nature involving minors, the Civil Code says this. 性犯罪 45.刑法においては、13歳未満の児童に対する性行為又は猥褻行為は、暴行又は脅迫を用いたか否かを問わず、処罰の対象となっている。このほか、児童福祉法が、18歳未満の者に淫行させる行為、児童の心身に有害な影響を与える行為をさせる目的をもってこれを自己の支配下に置く行為等を禁止しており、これに違反した者を処罰することとしている。

    So, if this women was under 18 at the time, then it appears Uchishiba is in some trouble.

  • 5

    aisai

    And regarding crimes such as rape, the Criminal code says this

    (強姦) 第百七十七条  暴行又は脅迫を用いて十三歳以上の女子を姦淫した者は、強姦の罪とし、三年以上の有期懲役に処する。十三歳未満の女子を姦淫した者も、同様とする。

    If he had he used force or threats to sexually assault this woman, then 177 applies.

  • 4

    aisai

    The Criminal Code also says the following: (準強制わいせつ及び準強姦) 第百七十八条  人の心神喪失若しくは抗拒不能に乗じ、又は心神を喪失させ、若しくは抗拒不能にさせて、わいせつな行為をした者は、第百七十六条の例による。 2  女子の心神喪失若しくは抗拒不能に乗じ、又は心神を喪失させ、若しくは抗拒不能にさせて、姦淫した者は、前条の例による。

    So even if he didn't use force or threats but simply kept giving this woman alcohol in order to make her more pliable towards his advances, it seems that 178(1) applies. Moreover, even if she was already drunk and incapacitated in some way (by her own doing), and he still took advantage the situation sexually than it looks like 178(2) applies.

    • Moderator

      Please stop posting messages in Japanese about the Criminal Code.

  • -6

    tmarie

    If she was a uni student 99.9% chance she's at least 18 hence my comments about her not bring a minor. The guy is scum but there is no need to accuse him of sex with a minor if that isn't the case.

  • 0

    shirokuma2011

    He'll get jail time just by virtue of his continued assertions of innocence (or conversely, his refusal to admit guilt). You know, all through both Olympics and other domestic and international competitions, on the mat and in interviews, he always came across as such a paragon of gentlemanly character and virtue. The disappointment alone will nudge the court toward the top end of the sentencing request.

  • 0

    timeon

    A naive question: shouldn't the police use various forensic methods, rape kits, etc. to actually determine if indeed was rape or not? You don't play around with 5 years prison term / life long trauma of rape (assuming the girl / the guy is lying) just on the basis of her word against his.

  • 0

    T-Mack

    Judo Champion? Rapist? May truth see the light of day...I also study '''american judo" I love the sport ...and Shotakan karate... Peace out to honorable students...!!!!

  • 5

    aisai

    tmarieDec. 28, 2012 - 12:34PM JST If she was a uni student 99.9% chance she's at least 18 hence my comments about her not bring a minor. The guy is scum but there is no need to accuse him of sex with a minor if that isn't the case.

    To-may-toe, to-mah-to for whatever your personal definition of a "minor" is but Japanese Civil Code Clause 4 defines a "minor" ("miseinensha" - 未成年者) as being anybody who has not reached their 20th birthday. This most likely why the same Civil Code says that a miseinensha needs to have their parents permission to get married. So even if this woman was under 20 when this happened then she would still be considered a miseinensha. This definition also applies to inheritance law, alcohol and tobacco related laws, labor law, etc.

  • 0

    Mocheake

    The prosecutors would be asking for a lot more years were he not famous and Japanese. I see a suspended sentence and "gomennasai" payments in his future.

  • -3

    tmarie

    The age of being able to marry isn't the same as the age for consensual sex. Perhaps you'd care to search for that because I believe prefectures are different and are as low as... 13.

    http://www.ageofconsent.com/japan.htm

  • 1

    aisai

    tmarieDec. 28, 2012 - 02:41PM JST The age of being able to marry isn't the same as the age for consensual sex. Perhaps you'd care to search for that because I believe prefectures are different and are as low as... 13. http://www.ageofconsent.com/japan.htm

    True your link says the age of sexual consent for males ranges by local from age 13 to 17., but the women in question is not male.

    Also, Uchishiba is not be accused of having consentual sex. He is not being accussed of having a consentual romantic relationship with this woman. She is accusing him of raping her. Seems a bit different somehow.

    "‘Constructive compulsory indecency and rape’, Art. 178 Penal Code " A person who commits an indecent act upon or has sexual intercourse with another by taking advantage of loss of consciousness or inability to resist, or by causing a loss of consciousness or inability to resist, shall be punished in the same way as provided for in the preceding two Articles. "

    Which is essentially what I posted above. The link you provided also says this. * II. Rape ‘Rape’, Art. 177 Penal Code " A person who, through violence or intimidation, has sexual intercourse with a female person of not less than thirteen (13) years of age commits the crime of rape and shall be punished with imprisonment at forced labour for a limited term of not less than two years. The same shall apply to a person who has sexual intercourse with a female person under thirteen (13) years of age. "*

    Which is also basically what I posted above. Key point to remember is "a female person of not less than thriteen years of age."

  • 2

    LFRAgain

    tmarie,

    The 13-year-old age of consent is between, if I recall correctly, two consenting minors. Not between, for example, a 20-year-old and a 13-year-old.

    I agree with you though that as a university student, she most very likely was at least 18 at the time of the alleged assault. But the law is a bit fuzzy in the 18-19-year-old range. If she were under 20 at the time, the law can be interpreted as having been breached, as I've had it explained to me by a Japanese colleague.

    It goes without saying that the Japanese criminal code could do with some clarification in many areas.

  • -3

    tmarie

    Yes there is a difference between rape and consensual sex. My issue is with the poster who claimed it was statutory rape. It wasn't IF the rape actually occurred.

  • -4

    tmarie

    Lfra, I've never heard about two consensual minors. If true, Japan has a huge issue with statutory rapists.

  • -1

    AU_user_since_1998

    This past two decades is the known as the period of modern forensic science. All evidence must be proven by science, not by merely testimonial, circumstacial and emotional evidences.

    Modern forensics can accurately determine whether the liquide (o r g a s m) from women was produced by consensual (enjorment of sex) or not.

    2nd, the lacerations on the women's precious part is 95 to 99% accurate, though a little bit antiquated by accurate though. if the women's private part is just like a wall clock, if the lacerations are on the 11, 12 or 1 o'clock, the men's pistol forcibly enter that private part. If the lacerations are in 5 6 and 7 o'clock, then men's pistol forcibly or the women did not want it to enter.

  • -1

    aisai

    tmarieDec. 28, 2012 - 03:30PM JST Yes there is a difference between rape and consensual sex. My issue is with the poster who claimed it was statutory rape. It wasn't IF the rape actually occurred.

    Is it possible for two minors to have consentual sex? If so, does the fact they change the fact they are minors?

    According to Japanese Civil Code Section 2 Article 4, a minor is considered to be any person under the age of 20 (the age of majority). You are saying that this woman is not a minor, but according to Japanese law she is.

    Uchishiba is being charged with rape because he is alleged to have committed sexual acts against this woman without her consent. More specifically, is being charged with violating Criminal Code 178. Doesn't matter what her age was.

    The definitions of "minor" and "rape" are not dependent upon one another. They only connected in this case because the woman in question appears to have been under 20 years of age (and therefore a minor) at the time and claims to have been raped by Uchishiba. Being a minor has nothing to do with the Age of Consent.

  • 0

    AU_user_since_1998

    correction:

    2nd, the lacerations on the women's precious part is 95 to 99% accurate, though a little bit antiquated but accurate though. if the women's private part is just like a wall clock, if the lacerations are on the 11, 12 or 1 o'clock, the men's pistol forcibly enter that private part. If the lacerations are in 5 6 and 7 o'clock, then men's pistol was allowed by the women to enter it gently.

  • 0

    movieguy

    LFRAgain - There's no distinction between consensual sex between minors and consensual sex for 13 and older with adults. The law doesn't say you can consent to sex if your 13 only if it's with someone 19 and younger.

  • 0

    aisai

    tmarieDec. 28, 2012 - 03:33PM JST Lfra, I've never heard about two consensual minors. If true, Japan has a huge issue with statutory rapists.

    I think you are mixing up the definitions of "Age of Consent" with "Age of Majority".

    "Age of Consent" essentially means what it says: it is the minimum age in which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to a sexual act".

    "Age of Majority" refers to the age in a person is legally considered to be an adult. Those who have not yet reached the Age of Majority are considered minors.

    In Japan, the Age of Majority is 20. Two 18 year olds can consent to have sex with each other, but they still would be legally considered minors. An adult engaging in concentual sex with somebody under 20 is still considered to be having sex with a minor. (this does not imply rape-- they are completely different). Whether or not this is a criminal act depends upon the age of the minor and other circumstances. However, a minor who is legally able to get married will be legally considered an adult once they do so.

  • -1

    aisai

    An adult engaging in concentual sex with somebody under 20 is still considered to be having sex with a minor.

    Sorry, I meant "consensual".

    One more thing, even if a minor over the Age of Consent does willingly agree to have sex with an adult (for example, a high school student has sex with their teacher), I still think it's possible for the student's parents (guardians) to bring the matter the police and ask them to arrest the adult for sexual conduct with an underage person. I'd also imagine some parents might also try the same thing in cases of sex between two consenting minors.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    The guy fed her alcohol and she was underage, and also committed adultery, bottom line. The last is not a crime punishable by law, fortunately for him and many, but given the man has admitted to it after at first denying it, why should anyone take his word for what happened.

  • 2

    cramp

    Has she given testimony or taken the stand?...coz the article really doesn't say anything about evidence or what she says

  • -1

    Mirai Hayashi

    shouldn't the police use various forensic methods, rape kits, etc. to actually determine if indeed was rape or not? You don't play around with 5 years prison term / life long trauma of rape (assuming the girl / the guy is lying) just on the basis of her word against his.

    you mean j-police doing REAL crime investigation? bwahahaha....don't be silly! As if they were qualified!

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    movieguy,

    "There's no distinction between consensual sex between minors and consensual sex for 13 and older with adults. The law doesn't say you can consent to sex if your 13 only if it's with someone 19 and younger."

    No, it doesn't state it explicitly, nor would I expect it to be. I don't see Japanese society seeing a need to codify something that will happen as a matter of course, i.e., sexual activity between, say, two 16-year-olds.

    It also bears noting that the 13-year-old age of consent for sexual intercourse is really more of a baseline and that it's actually much higher in many prefectures around Japan in response to changing times and changing attitudes. In Tokyo, it's 17. In other places it's 18.

    It also bears mentioning that some posters are indeed mistakenly using the terms Age of Consent and Age of Majority interchangeably, myself included. Clearly, they aren't the same things.

    Which utterly negates my initial comment implying he was guilty of statutory rape. I was quite wrong.

    But Uchishiba's still an asshat.

  • 1

    Ms. Alexander

    All this talk of her being a minor is beyond words. While there is no denying that she was under 20, are they going to bring the whole story into court? As in, yes, she was under 20, and although she was with an adult, SHE chose to drink and get drunk. She didn't consider herself a minor when she made the decision to drink.

    While I agree he's a dirtbag, you can't say it's rape just because he's the older one and she was drunk. He definitely took advantage of a drunk girl. Maybe she consented and didn't remember when she woke up. Maybe she didn't consent thus making it rape.

    I'm not defending him at all. I'm just saying she can't be a minor only when prosecution wants her to be.

  • 1

    aisai

    Ms. AlexanderDEC. 29, 2012 - 03:57PM JST All this talk of her being a minor is beyond words. While there is no denying that she was under 20, are they going to bring the whole story into court? As in, yes, she was under 20, and although she was with an adult, SHE chose to drink and get drunk. She didn't consider herself a minor when she made the decision to drink.

    If it's beyond words, it 's simply because it can't be disputed according to the Japanese Civil Code. Her decision to drink alcohol may have been wrong, but it has nothing to do with her being attacked or her being a minor. If they want to charge her for underage drinking then so be it. Her being drunk when she was attacked is no more relevant than the type of clothing she was wearing at the time. The only thing that matters is if he consented to have sex with Uchishiba. She claims she didn't, he claims she did. The court's job is to determine who is telling the truth.

    While I agree he's a dirtbag, you can't say it's rape just because he's the older one and she was drunk. He definitely took advantage of a drunk girl. Maybe she consented and didn't remember when she woke up. Maybe she didn't consent thus making it rape.

    Whether he is a dirt bag is irrelevant. He is not charged with be a dirt bag. His age makes no different as to whether he raped her or not; it could however make his sentencing a bit more harsh simply because the court could say that as a teacher and an adult he should have exercised better judgement. He is charged with violating #178 of the Japanese Criminal Code which says that if you force yourself sexually on another against their wishes while they are incapacitated and unable to provide resistance then you can be charge with rape (#177 of the Crimminal Code). Whether the woman got drunk of her own accord or Uchishiba got her drunk is the same according to #178. The thing that matters is whether she said no. She claims she did; the prosecutors have to prove to the court that she is telling the truth and the defense has to show that she's not. The whole "She just doesn't remember" defense has been tried over and over in "date-drug" rape cases and almost always never works as long as the victim says that they did say no.

    I'm not defending him at all. I'm just saying she can't be a minor only when prosecution wants her to be.

    Being a minor is not something you choose to be. It's something that you are if you are under 20 years of age according to Japanese law. A minor doesn't get to decide when they are or are not a minor according to Japanese law. Only the courts can do that.

  • 1

    lwsydney

    @Ebisen has summed up the whole thing fabulously.

  • 1

    linro

    Well Statutory rape is of the table she must be over 13, now if she was drinking in a public place not only the judo guy is at fault but the people who served a minor alcohol and should also be prosecuted for being Conplicent to the fact if she can prove she was raped. It also is said that her name can not be mentioned because she was under age at the time probably 17 therefore old enough for conventual sex. What everyone is missing is the chain of events that lead to the allegations. Could he have been drunk too. Its all speculation at the moment.

  • 0

    Crazedinjapan

    I'll agree that he had sex with her, was drinking with her but the age was withheld so will not agree to the majority of statements above about statutory rape.

    His biggest mistake was having sex with a student ( lacks professionalism ) while she was under the influence of alcohol where her consent may or might not have been influenced by it.

    He is definitely not the hero Japan made him out to be but he will still be respected later once all is forgotten ( example smap TV cast member walking around drunk and naked in a park ) a few sorry sorry and all is well again.

  • 0

    flygirl1221

    In any case his coaching career is over. He admitted to having sex with a student, which he shouldn't have done.

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