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Niigata police arrest Canadian teacher suspected in series of flashing incidents

Niigata Meikun Junior and Senior High School
Niigata Meikun Junior and Senior High School

NIIGATA (TR) – Niigata Prefectural Police on early Sunday morning arrested a Canadian male for exposing himself to two women in Niigata City’s Konan Ward. The suspect is believed to have also been involved in a series of similar incidents, reports the NHK (March 6).

At just 12:20 a.m., Steve Pankhurst, a 38-year-old English teacher at Niigata Meikun Junior and Senior High School, revealed the lower half of his body to the women, both of whom are in their 30s, near JR Kameda Station before fleeing the scene. The suspect was later apprehended by police near the station.

Pankhurst, who has been charged with public indecency, has reportedly denied the allegations. “(The accusation) is not factual,” the suspect is quoted by police.

Starting in the fall of last year, police began receiving a number of complaints about a foreigner exposing himself in the same area. Police are now investigating whether the suspect was involved in the other incidents.

Pankhurst began a one-year contract as an assistant language teacher with the school in April of last year.

“Details of the case are not yet known, but it is an unforgivable act given his position as an instructor for children,” said Niigata Meikun principal Yuko Otaki. “I want to confirm the facts of the case in order to prevent a re-occurrence.”