The Romance Car lives up to its name by ferrying passengers between busy Shinjuku Station in Tokyo and such outlying tourist destinations as the hot springs in Hakone and the coast of Enoshima. Late last year, however, amorous aspirations of another sort were on the mind of a train conductor who allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with a 16-year-old high school girl, reports Shukan Jitsuwa (April 19).
Takao Sekine, 33, of the Odakyu Electric Railway company, was arrested on March 21 by the Kanagawa prefectural police for violating youth protection statutes.
“Sekine allegedly caressed a high school girl’s breasts and lower body on December 25, Christmas Night, while they were on an out-of-service train car bound for Shinjuku from Shin Yurigaoka,” a writer from the domestic affairs section of a newspaper says. “He designated the time to meet up with this girl whom he got to know via an online dating site. He invited her to ‘take a discrete ride on an out-of-service train,’ and had the girl hop on at Shin Yurigaoka Station.”
His actions, however, were anything but discrete.
“A staff member who witnessed the girl getting into the train reported to the deed to a supervisor. A record showed the time when the doors closed — solid evidence that he was misusing his position at work. Further, a few eye witnesses filed reports from Mukogaoka Station and Noborito Station, both of which are places where the train tends to slow down.”
While Odakyu was consulting with law enforcement regarding potential penalties, Sekine’s behavior escalated.
“On December 26, the next day, he engaged in another sexual act with the girl at a karaoke parlor. He also took the girl to a hotel on January 26 in Shinjuku,” says the same writer.
“My intention was to keep her in safe custody as she said she had just run away from home,” Sekine was quoted by Odakyu immediately after the incident on the train in December.
Shukan Jitsuwa, however, finds this to be a pathetic explanation. (A.T.)
Source: “Shasho no kaiso densha waisetsu hakkaku,” Shukan Jitsuwa (April 19, pages 196-197)