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Saitama, Kanagawa teachers accused in separate sexual assault cases

Keita Takahashi, a 55-year-old teacher, allegedly molested a 21-year-old woman on a road in Yokohama's Hodogaya Ward last year
Keita Takahashi, a 55-year-old middle school teacher, allegedly molested a 21-year-old woman on a road in Yokohama’s Hodogaya Ward last year (TBS News)

SAITAMA (TR) – Law enforcement divisions in Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures have arrested two teachers in separate sexual assault cases in which the victims were young women.

On Thursday, Saitama Prefectural Police arrested an elementary school teacher for allegedly sexually assaulting a female university student who refused his sexual advances on a street in Kasukabe City earlier this year.

At around 10 p.m. on August 31, Akito Harukawa, 23, a teacher in Saitama City, for allegedly grabbing the victim, aged in her 20s, from behind before grabbing her arm, pushing her against a wall and molesting her body, the Sankei Shimbun reported (Oct. 12).

Prior to the incident, the suspect accosted the student as she commuted home. The student had her father make an emergency call upon her return home. Harukawa became a person of interest for police after an examination of surveillance camera footage.

Harukawa, who has been accused of indecent assault, admits to the charges. “I called out to her with the intention of hitting on her, but she refused so I got all aroused and did it,” the suspect was quoted by the Kasukabe Police Station.

Harukawa started teaching at the school in Saitama City as a substitute teacher in April of 2016. In April of this year, he starting presiding over a second-year elementary class, according to the Saitama City Board of Education.

The head of the board of education said, “It’s extremely regrettable for a civil servant to do such a thing.”

Yokohama case

Also on Thursday, police in Kanagawa Prefecture arrested Keita Takahashi, a 55-year-old teacher at a middle school in Yokohama, for allegedly molesting a 21-year-old woman on a road in Yokohama’s Hodogaya Ward, according to TBS News (Oct. 12).

On April 17 of last year, Takahashi covered the mouth of the victim before fondling her chest and lower body. Takahashi, who has also been accused of indecent assault, denies the allegations, telling police he does not recall the incident, according to the Hodogaya Police Station.

As with Harukawa, the suspect became a person of interest after an examination of security camera footage.