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NHK reporter accused of rape in Yamagata suspected in cases in Yamanashi

Yasutaka Tsurumoto
Yasutaka Tsurumoto

YAMAGATA (TR) – A reporter for public broadcaster NHK accused of rape in Yamagata Prefecture has been linked to other cases in Yamanashi Prefecture, investigative sources revealed on Wednesday, reports Fuji News Network (Feb. 8).

On February 6, police arrested Yasutaka Tsurumoto, a 28-year-old reporter for an affiliate of NHK’s Yamagata Broadcasting Station in Sakata City, in the alleged rape of a woman, aged in her 20s, inside her residence in the Murayama locality of Yamagata about one year ago.

According to the investigative sources, police have now linked Tsurumoto to a series of similar incidents of sexual assault that took place in 2013 and 2014 in Yamanashi. The results of DNA analyses of hair and other items left at those crime scenes proved to be a match for the suspect.

In the latest case, which took place on February 23, 2016, the woman, who was not acquainted with the suspect, suffered injuries that required two weeks to heal. Tsurumoto has denied the charges, saying he does not know anything about the incident.

After graduating from Waseda University in 2011, Tsurumoto joined the public broadcaster in Kofu City, Yamanashi. In July of 2015, he was transferred to the Yamagata Broadcasting Station. He moved to the affiliate in Sakata last year.