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Keio University rape suspect accused in fifth case

KANAGAWA (TR) – A popular male Keio University student already in custody over four sexual assault incidents has been accused in a fifth case, reports Jiji Press (Dec. 26).

At around 6:30 a.m. on September 1, Yota Watanabe, a 22-year-old second-year student, and Hideaki Tamai, a 20-year-old student at an unspecified university, are alleged to have attempted to sexually assault a woman, also 22, while she was blindfolded and her arms and legs bound with a rope.

The incident took place inside residence of Tamai in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. The matter emerged after police analyzed data on Watanabe’s smartphone, which included video footage of the incident.

Watanabe, who has been accused of attempted coerced intercourse, partially denies the allegations. “I only shot video,” the suspect was quoted by Kanagawa Prefectural Police.

The arrest is the fifth for Watanabe. Police first arrested the suspect over the alleged sexual assault of another woman, a first-year student at another university, in a stairwell of a multi-tenant building in Yokohama’s Nishi Ward in September. Upon his arrest in October, he denied the allegations, telling police he was drunk and did not remember the incident.

Yota Watanabe
Yota Watanabe (Twitter)

In another case, Watanabe and two other students of the university allegedly fondled the lower body of an intoxicated woman, aged in her 20s, inside a karaoke parlor in Shibuya on May 10. In commenting on the charges in November, Watanabe said, “I do not recall [the matter].”

Also in November, police accused Watanabe of sexually assaulting a girl, aged 19 at the time, and stealing 60,000 yen in cash from her wallet inside a residence in Shibuya. “I stripped off her clothes, but I did not have sex with her,” the suspect was quoted by police.

In 2016, Watanabe appeared in the “Mr. Keio SFC Contest,” an event whose winners are determined via online voting over a three-month period.