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Suspended DeNA pitcher accused of producing child pornography

KANAGAWA (TR) – A Yokohama DeNA BayStars pitcher who was suspended earlier this year over his relationship with a female minor has been accused of producing child pornography, investigative sources said last week, reports NHK (Oct. 11).

In January of last year, Kakeru Ayabe, 22, allegedly used his smartphone to take films of a high school girl, then 16, while she carried out acts deemed obscene inside a hotel room in Yokohama City.

On October 11, Ayabe was sent to prosecutors on suspicion of producing child pornography and violating a prefectural ordinance regarding the healthy upbringing of youths.

The girl got to know Ayabe about a month before the incident via a social-networking service. The pitcher admits to the allegations, police said.

The matter emerged via an investigation conducted by weekly tabloid Shukan Bunshun, which revealed that Ayabe’s wife learned that the girl was one of Ayabe’s 18 mistresses, many of whom he was philandering with while she was pregnant with their first child.

The BayStars announced the suspension of Abe for an inappropriate relationship with a minor in July.

“We sincerely apologize to the girl, the fans and associated persons,” the club said in apology regarding the latest allegations. “We will continue to provide thorough education [to players] within the team.”

Ayabe, a 22-year-old native of Ibaraki Prefecture, has a record of 1-0 over two seasons with the club. Last year, the right-hander did not appear in a game after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Prior to his suspension, he had compiled an ERA of 6.00 in three games for the club this year.

Also this month, the BayStars announced that they will not enter into a contract with Ayabe for the 2020 season.