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Ex-TV Asahi employee once incarcerated for rape arrested again for same crime

Junichi Okabe
Junichi Okabe (TBS News)

OSAKA (TR) – A former employee of broadcaster TV Asahi has been arrested in the alleged rape of multiple women, a crime for which the suspect has already served a prison term, investigative sources revealed on Sunday, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 16).

In the early morning hours July 20, Junichi Okabe, 55, allegedly intruded into the sixth-floor apartment of a 29-year-old woman before covering her face with a towel and binding her limbs. “If you don’t make a sound, nothing will happen,” he threatened before sexually assaulting her.

Okabe, who has been accused of coerced intercourse resulting in injury, was sent to prosecutors on October 3. He generally admits to the allegations, according to police.

Prior to arresting Okabe, police found what is believed to be one of the cloth items used to tie up the woman at a trash collection point for his residence.

On October 11, police re-arrested Okabe for the alleged rape of another woman, 31, at her residence in May. He is also suspected in the attempted rape of a third woman.

Rape incidents in 2002

In 2002, Okabe was first arrested over the rape of three women in Tokyo between January and April of that year. He was subsequently sentenced by the Tokyo High Court to a 10-year prison term. He was released in 2012.

In the most recent cases, the victims had left their front doors unlocked and gone to sleep prior to the occurrence of each incident. The location of all three buildings are located within several hundred meters of Okabe’s residence, police said.

Based on the similarities in which the crimes were committed and due to an examination of security camera footage taken near the crime scenes, police believe Okabe was behind all three incidents.