• Kyodo

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The Yokohama District Court on Thursday sentenced a 27-year-old company employee to 12 years in prison for organizing a group of rapists via the Internet and being involved in the rapes of five women in 1999 and 2000.

Akihiko Kamimura was found guilty of conspiring with four other men to break into the five women’s homes and rape them between September 1999 and March 2000. He got acquainted with the four men through the Internet.

Presiding Judge Hiroshi Yamura said the accused committed “foul play in which he tried to prevent the revelation of crimes by using anonymous e-mail messages and fulfilled his perverted desire.”

“His criminal responsibility is grave as he misused advanced communication methods to enable people who were strangers to each other to conspire easily to commit a bold crime.”

According to the court, Kamimura e-mailed a 39-year-old company worker in Osaka, urging him to join “a group of rapists” and instructing him who to attack and how.

Kamimura is wheelchair-bound after a traffic accident, but he raped two of the five women with help from the Osaka company worker, the court said.

His four accomplices were separately tried and received five- to 16-year prison terms.

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