HYOGO (TR) – An executive of West Japan Railway Company accused of molesting a 17-year-old high-school female on one of the company’s train lines has apparently committed suicide by hanging in Osaka, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 26).
At around 9:00 p.m. on December 25, the body of Hidehiko Kinbira, 56, who heads JR West’s Kobe office in Hyogo Prefecture, was discovered in a public toilet in Nagai Park, located in Higashi Sumiyoshi Ward. Six sealed letters addressed to family members and his company were also found.
On December 22, officers from the Tennoji Police Station took Kinbira 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 the day before.
Kinbira had reportedly denied the allegations. “My arm may have touched her accidentally,” the suspect was 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.
Kinbira reportedly left his home on the morning of December 25 but his whereabouts thereafter became unknown.