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Tokyo court hands man life term over murder of member of theater troupe

Takahiro Tokura (Twitter)
Takahiro Tokura (Twitter)

TOKYO (TR) – The Tokyo District Court on Wednesday handed a term of life in prison to a 39-year-old man over the murder of female member of an acting troupe in Nakano Ward three years ago, reports the Yomiuri Shimbun (Mar. 7).

In handing down the ruling, presiding judge Tatsuya Tosuke said that Takahiro Tokura acted “as a random attacker” in the indecent assault and murder of Risa Kagaya, 25, on August 25, 2015.

“It is extremely unfortunate that the victim’s dreams and hopes of becoming an actress were taken away in an unreasonable manner,” the judge said. The prosecution had sought a life term.

According to the ruling, the defendant entered the apartment of Kagaya and attacked her. He then strangled her to death with the cord of an electrical appliance after she resisted his advances.

During the trial, Tosuke admitted to killing Kagaya. However, he denied intending to sexually assault her. “I wanted to exchange identification numbers for Line,” he said, referring to the social-networking service. “But, later, something like a demon called to me and I strangled her.” The court, however, ruled that his purpose was sexual assault.

At the time, Kagaya was working part-time at an izakaya restaurant. She was also enrolled in a theater group as a part of her pursuit to become an actress.

During questioning after his arrest, Tokura confirmed that he was not acquainted with the victim. He told police that he spotted Kagaya returning home at approximately 12:30 a.m. on August 25. He then followed her inside her front door.