SAITAMA (TR) – A court here last week handed down a not-guilty verdict to a 32-year-old doctor over the alleged gang rape of a woman while two associates received prison terms, reports NHK (Oct. 26).
In August of last year, Yoshiharu Matsuoka, a 32-year-old doctor at a hospital affiliated with Tokyo Jikei University, and his accomplices allegedly forced the victim to drink large quantities of alcohol before sexually assaulting her in an unconscious state at a residence in Tokyo’s Ota Ward.
Matsuoka, who was accused of quasi-rape, told the court during the trial that he was present during the incident but he claimed he did not participate in the sexual assault.
At the Saitama District Court on Thursday, presiding judge Naoto Sasaki said that the testimony of the defendants raised questions about the guilt of Matsuoka. “I can not say that there was no possibility of mistakes,” the judge said in handing Matsuoka a verdict of not guilty.
The prosecution had sought a four-year and six-month sentence for Matsuoka. Two other male defendants received prison sentences of five years.
Two other cases
In two other cases, Matsuoka faced the same charges. In one case, the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office chose to not prosecute him without explanation in July. Three months before, he was not prosecuted in the other case by the Saitama District Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Regarding last week’s ruling, Nobuhiko Furuya, an associate public prosecutor with the Saitama District Public Prosecutor’s Office, said, “I would like to thoroughly consider the content of the judgment and respond appropriately.”