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Saitama man used eye reflection in online image to stalk idol

Hibiki Sato (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – A 26-year-old man arrested last month for stalking and sexually assaulting an idol used used the girl’s eye reflection in an online image to assist in carrying out the act, police have revealed, reports NHK (Oct. 8).

At just past 11:00 p.m. on September 1, Hibiki Sato, of no known occupation, came up from behind the woman, aged in her 20s, inside her apartment building in Tokyo’s Koto Ward and pressed a towel to her face and fondled her body.

The woman suffered injuries to her face that required one week to heal. Upon his arrest several weeks later, Sato admitted to the allegations. He was prosecuted on suspicion of indecent assault on Tuesday.

“Digital stalker”

In the latest development, Sato, a resident of Saitama City, Saitama Prefecture, told Tokyo Metropolitan Police during questioning that he used the reflection from the pupil of the woman’s eye in an image she posted on a social-networking service (SNS) to assist in the crime.

The reflection showed a street scene. Using Google Maps and Google Street View, Sato identified the railway station included in the reflection. On the day of the crime, he waited for her at the station and followed her to the residence, police said.

“The picture quality of smartphone cameras has become very fine, and a new risk has arisen in which private information is being leaked unexpectedly,” said Shuichiro Hoshi, a professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University. “In other words, the risk of a so-called ‘digital stalker’ is on the rise. As a result, countermeasures are required when posting to an SNS, such using photos that do not include location information or deliberately reducing the image quality.”

A man in custody for stalking an idol learned where she lived using an online photograph and Google Street View (Twitter)

“Chika aidoru”

A tweet from the account of the group Tenshi Tsukinukeni Yomi sent after the arrest of Sato revealed that the victim of the crime was Ena Mastuoka, a 21-year-old member of the group.

Prior to the incident, Mastuoka had just finished a concert. Sato ambushed her just after she passed through the self-locking door of the building, police said previously.

Tenshi Tsukinukeni Yomi is a so-called “chika aidoru” (underground idol) group. Such a group carries out activities similar mainstream acts like AKB48, but without the support of a large agency.