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Saitama man, 41, accused of stalking and molesting woman ‘began following her 10 years ago’

SAITAMA (TR) – A 41-year-old man in custody for allegedly molesting a woman earlier this year has been further accused of stalking her, reports NHK (July 14).

Between June 23 and 25, Norisuke Hashimoto, a home remodeler, is alleged to have ambushed the woman, aged in her 20s, inside JR Minami-Koshigaya Station and photographed her with his smartphone.

Upon his arrest on suspicion of violating the Stalker Control law on Wednesday, Hashimoto partially denied the allegations. “I followed her and took her picture,” he told the Urawa-Higashi Police Station, “but I did not ambush her.”

The arrest is the second for Hashimoto, who lives in Kasukabe City. He is not acquainted with the victim.

On June 25, police accused the suspect of molesting the same woman inside a train carriage.

During that investigation, an examination of the suspect’s smartphone revealed the photographs taken between June 23 and 25.

“I began following her about 10 years ago,” the suspect also said. “Ever since I saw her at a train station when she was a teenager, I was eager to talk [to her].”

After the girl graduated from school and obtained a job, the suspect continued to ride the same train she did even though her commuting route changed, police said.