TOKYO (TR) – A court here has found a former security officer with the government innocent of assault and injuring a male subway commuter while fleeing a groping allegation last year, reports Jiji Press (Feb. 26).
At the Tokyo District Court on February 26, presiding judge Kaya Yoshizaki ruled that 53-year-old Masao Shinada “did in fact not carry out an assault.”
The prosecution had sought a two-year prison term.
On February 17, 2020, Shinada fled from a carriage of the Toei Shinjuku Line at Jimbocho Station after a girl accused him of groping her.
After a man in 20s tried to apprehend Shinada, the pair began scuffling on a staircase inside the station. The man then tumbled down the stairs, falling about 2 meters.
According to the ruling and indictment, the victim suffered a fractured skull that required six months to heal.
“I was trying to shake him [the victim] off when he fell [down the stairs],” Shinada said upon his arrest.
Inconsistencies in the victim’s statement
Though the incident happened inside the station, no security camera footage captured the event in its entirety. However, Shinada could be seen in footage at one point.
Judge Yoshizaki said that the claim of the prosecution regarding the assault did not match the position of the defendant — as shown in the footage — at the time of the fall.
“There are also inconsistencies in the victim’s statement about apprehending the defendant,” the judge said in ruling that an assault could not be objectively recognized.
The judge suggested, “The victim tripped on the steps of the stairs.”
Junior prosecutor Hirofumi Yamamoto said that he would like to thoroughly consider the content of the judgment and take appropriate measures.
Molesting a female university student
Shinada was a member of the Security Police, which is a government unit that protects dignitaries in Japan and overseas.
The case was his second. In July 2007, Tokyo police arrested him for molesting a female university student inside a train.
In that case, Shinada was also accused of shoving and injuring a male bystander who attempted to apprehend him. However, prosecutors dropped both the molestation and inflicting bodily injury charges. Shinada later resigned from his post after he received a one-month suspension.