TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a former star on YouTube who is suspected of soliciting nude photographs from girls, reports NHK (March 17).
Last November, Mahoto Watanabe, 28, allegedly used his smartphone to ask a high school girl, then 15, to take obscene photographs of herself and send them to him.
The girl, who was a fan of Watanabe, then sent him up to 40 such images, the Akasaka Police Station said.
Upon his arrest on suspicion of violating the anti-child pornography law on March 17, Watanabe admitted to the allegations. “I did it to satisfy my sexual desire,” the suspect said, according to Fuji News Network (March 18). He was sent to prosecutors the following day.
According to police, Watanabe, who lives in Shinagawa Ward, met the girl, a high school student, on a social-networking service.
“If you send 30 of the requested photographs, we can talk on the phone. If you send 50, we can meet,” he reportedly told her in requesting the illicit images. He referred to the photographs as “training.”
In order to prevent her from revealing the matter, he photographed the obscene photographs along with her student identification card.
Watanabe also later deleted the messages between himself and her and the photographs.
Watanabe’s YouTube channel has more than 2 million subscribers. In January, another YouTuber at his agency was accused of a similar crime.
During the investigation, the matter involving Watanabe surfaced. After he generally admitted to the allegations, his contract was terminated.