On the morning of June 12, three company employees — Ryokan Murai, 36, Yohei Funakoshi, 28, and 38-year-old Yasuyuki Kimura — are alleged to have surrounded a 17-year-old girl riding the JR Fukuchiyama Line in Hyogo Prefecture and fondled her chest and the lower half of her body.
According to prefectural police, eyewitness accounts indicated that the girl, a second-year high-school student, did not show any physical resistance, but her face showed a feeling of anguish as the trio continuously rummaged their hands around her torso.
“Another passenger went with the girl to Takarazuka Station and consulted with the station personnel,” explains a local reporter. “Through video camera footage, the three suspects were later apprehended.”
Kimura has reportedly denied the allegations, while Murai and Funakoshi admitted to the charges.
The tabloid says that what puzzles detectives is the claim that the three suspects were unacquainted with one another, saying that the incident could have been a scene from one of the many “Train Molestation” films made by film Nikkatsu studio in its soft-core “roman porno” fantasy series, which extended between 1971 and 1988.
“In summary, the incident is similar to the case in Wakayama,” says the same reporter. “It is likely that this incident has a similar origin.”
On April 30, an Osaka man boarded the JR Wakayama Line and began touching the breasts and buttocks of a 23-year-old woman.
At Wakayama Station, the victim seized the perpetrator’s arm and handed him over to station personnel. The man believed the woman in question had posted information regarding her seat location and appearance on a train-molestation site in an effort to recruit men interested in running their hands over her body.
The victim denied posting on a chikan (molestation) site. Police later discovered that a male Osaka tax official impersonated the woman on the site.
“Investigators are examining the circumstances carefully,” says the reporter in referring to the Hyogo case.
An Internet expert offers his sympathies. “From the perspective of the habitual molester, she is seen as fair game,” says the expert. “If the molestation was due to her information having been posted on such a bulletin board, it is a dreadful chain of events.”
Whether the suspects were acquainted or not, says Shukan Jitsuwa, a woman has been violated in public. The magazine demands a thorough investigation into the matter. (A.T.)
Source: “Joshi kosei wo osotta shudan chikan,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Aug. 15, pages 184-185)
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