Officers from the Tennoji Police Station took Hidehiko Kinbira, 56, who heads JR West’s Kobe office in Hyogo Prefecture, into custody for allegedly grabbing the upper part of the buttocks of the third-year student on the Hanwa Line between Bishoen and Tennoji stations at around 7:30 a.m. on December 21.
The suspect has reportedly denied the allegations. “My arm may have touched her accidentally,” Kinbira is quoted by police. “But I am not a molester.”
A 24-year-old male office worker riding in the same carriage confirmed the allegations against Kinbira. Just before the train arrived at Tennoji Station, the victim called to the office worker for assistance. The suspect then fled once the train’s doors opened. A station employee soon after captured the suspect.
According to the victim, the suspect has molested her several times over the last two years on the Hanwa Line.
“If the facts are accurate, this a deplorable situation,” Sports Hochi (Dec. 23) quotes Kazuaki Hasegawa, JR West’s chief for the Kinki region. “After verifying the circumstances, the matter will be dealt with in a very strict manner.”