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Gunma: Ex-mayor not prosecuted over alleged sexual harassment

GUNMA (TR) – Prosecutors last week announced the non-prosecution of a former mayor of the town of Minakami over the alleged sexual harassment of a female acquaintance earlier this year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Dec. 28).

On the night of April 18, Yoshinari Maeda, 51, is alleged to have pulled the woman town him and forcibly kissed her at a farewell party held at a lodge.

On December 27, the Maebashi District Public Prosecutor’s Office announced the non-prosecution of Maeda, who was accused of indecent assault.

No reason for the non-prosecution was given. However, an out-of-court settlement between the former mayor and the victim was reached, according to her lawyer.

The lawyer added that Maeda “reflected” upon his deeds. “The victim seeks a society where a female victim can speak frankly about her feelings, rather than being forced to cry herself to sleep,” the lawyer said.

Yoshinari Maeda
Yoshinari Maeda (Twitter)

When the matter surfaced, Maeda claimed that the act was “consensual.” However, after he was prosecuted, he said, “I was drunk at the time and do not recall [the matter].”

Maeda also denied sexually harassing the woman on a regular basis. He was removed from his post after two censure votes were conducted in July and September.