A 57-year-old man arrested under a Saitama Prefecture public nuisance ordinance last month - accused of taking pictures of a naked 9-year-old girl as she was playing in a river in Hidaka City – had his case referred to the District Public Prosecutor’s office in Kawagoe on Monday, police said.
Police said the suspect, who heads the Saitama City resident tax department but whose name has not been publicly released, is accused of taking pictures with a digital camera of the girl as she played naked with a friend in Koma River in Hidaka City on April 11. Another man noticed him taking pictures from behind a bridge pylon on the riverbed and called police. The caller kept an eye on him until police arrived.
Police found several pictures of the naked girl in the camera and said the man told them he had come to the river to take pictures of girls. Police searched his home and found more than 100 photos of young girls naked or in underwear, believed to have been taken at Koma River over a number of years.
Saitama City officials told police the man explained to them in late April that he had gone to the river to take pictures of cherry blossoms, and that while his actions may have been careless, he did not think they were illegal.