WAKAYAMA (TR) – A summary court in Wakayama Prefecture on Monday fined a senior member of the Kainan office of the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau 300,000 yen for posting a message on a train-molestation bulletin board site that lead to an arrest in April, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (July 29).
Using the name Yui, the tax office employee, 49-year-old Yoji Isegawa, impersonated a woman seeking to be fondled inside a train carriage. The defendant was charged with violating public nuisance ordinances.
Isegawa, who was arrested on July 9, admitted to the allegations, saying he had a romantic interest in the victim. “I thought if I came across as her savior (after the groping), we could become friends and go out drinking,” the defendant testified.
On April 30 at around 7 a.m., Masaya Ogawa, a former nurse from Osaka, boarded the JR Wakayama Line at Kokawa Station and began touching the abdomen and buttocks of a 23-year-old woman.
At Wakayama Station, the train’s final stop, the victim seized Ogawa’s arm and handed him over to station personnel. He was later arrested.
Ogawa believed the woman in question had posted information regarding her seat number and appearance on a train-molestation site in an effort to recruit men interested in fondling her body. The victim denied making such a post. He was subsequently released since he was under the impression that the contact was consensual.
In June, police said that Isegawa had admitted to writing the message, saying he included descriptions of the victim’s clothing and general appearance.
“It is a serious incident that undermines the trust of the people,” said a representative from the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau. “Based on the decision of the judicial authorities, we will harshly deal with this matter.”