KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested the director of the management company for idol group SKE48 for allegedly paying two girls for sex, reports Jiji Press (July 28).
Early on November 23, 2019, Kazuya Ebine, the 58-year-old director of Zest, allegedly paid a total of 5,000 yen to the girls, then aged 15 and 17, to engage in acts deemed obscene inside his vehicle while it was parked in Machida City.
Upon his arrest on Tuesday on suspicion of violating the anti-child prostitution law on Tuesday, Ebine said he thought the girls were over 18. “I only gave the girls a ride,” the suspect was quoted by police in denying the allegations.
According to police, Sekine got to know the girls through a social-networking service. On the site, one of the girls posted a message indicating that she was interested in a relationship based on enjo kosai, or compensated dating.
Police launched an investigation after a member of a cyber patrol division saw the exchange online. In the exchange, the suspect offered to pay a total of 20,000 yen, police said.