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Kanagawa: Ex-Hayama vice mayor accused of sex with teen girl

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a former vice mayor for the town of Hayama for allegedly engaging in sex with a high school girl, reports Jiji Press (July 15).

On the afternoon of April 4, Kotaro Tanabe, 53, allegedly engaged in acts deemed obscene wiht the girl, then 17, at a hotel in Isogo Ward, Yokohama City while knowing she was a minor.

Upon his arrest on suspicion of violating the Child Welfare Act on Wednesday, Tanabe denied the allegations. “I thought she was 18. [We] went to the hotel, but [we] didn’t do [anything] obscene,” the suspect was quoted.

According to police, Tanabe got to know the girl through a social-networking service. The suspect then met the girl for sex several times thereafter, with him paying her 10,000 yen each time.

However, when the girl attempted to end the arrangement, Tanabe threatened her. “I will disclose [our arrangement] to your family and school,” he reportedly said. The suspect then continued to meet with the girl for sex in which no money changed hands, including on April 4, police said.

Kotaro Tanabe (Twitter)

End of the arrangement

The mother of the girl learned of the matter after noticing her daughter behaving in an unusual manner.

After the mother sent a message to Tanabe from the girl’s smartphone in which she announced the end of the arrangement, he responded by demanding that the money he paid be returned. She consulted with police later that month, according to the Sankei Shimbun (July 5).

Tanabe was appointed as vice mayor of Hayama in 2012. However, he resigned eight months later.