KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested a Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) member over the alleged sexual assault of a girl at a hotel in Yokohama’s Nishi Ward earlier this year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 7).
Between 1:25 p.m. and and 4:50 p.m. on October 15, Yuta Suzuki, a 21-year-old private stationed at Camp Shimoshizu in Chiba Prefecture, is alleged to have committed acts deemed obscene with the girl, a first-year middle school student who was 12 at the time, inside a room of the hotel while knowing she was under the age of 13.
Suzuki, who has been accused of coerced intercourse — a charge known as rape prior to a change in legislation earlier this year — admits to the allegations. “I knew she was 12,” the suspect was quoted by police.
According to police, Suzuki met the girl via a smartphone matchmaking application at the end of September. It is believed that the suspect engaged in sex with the girl on multiple occasions in Yokohama.
A representative from Camp Shimoshizu described the arrest of staff member as “inexcusable” when contacted for comment. “We apologize to the victim and her family,” the representative said, according to NHK (Dec. 7). “We will provide thorough guidance to staff members [to prevent a recurrence].”