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Defendant in murder of Natsumi Kogawa has separate sexual assault charge stayed

Natsumi Kogawa
Natsumi Kogawa is shown with William Schneider in security camera footage on the day she disappeared in September, 2016

CANADA (TR) – A 49-year-old Canadian male arrested last year in the murder of a Japanese woman who had gone missing in Vancouver has had a separate charge of sexual assault charge stayed, it was learned last week, reports the Vancouver Sun (Sept. 22).

William Schneider was accused of attempted sexual assault in the city of Vernon on September 28, 2016 the same day that the body Natsumi Kogawa, 30, was found by police inside a historic mansion in Vancouver.

A stay of proceedings on that charge — meaning the charge is no longer applicable — was filed earlier this month after a prosecutor reviewed the case and discovered that the approval standard for the charge could no longer be met, according to Alisia Adams, acting communications counsel with the Ministry of Attorney General’s B.C. Prosecution Service.

In February of this year, Schneider was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Kogawa. The suspect was initially taken into custody on suspicion of indignity to a human body the day after the discovery of her corpse. Both of those charges remain on his record.

Native of Aomori

Kogawa, a native of Aomori Prefecture, had been studying in Vancouver since May. A friend was last able to contact her via the smartphone application Line on September 8, 2016. Four days later, a missing persons report was filed with police.

For the other two charges, Schneider is expected to appear in court on October 16.