• Kyodo

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Police turned over to prosecutors on Tuesday their case against a former member of the Gokuraku Tombo (Happy-Go-Lucky) comic duo who is suspected of raping a 17-year-old girl in July, they said.

Police opted not to arrest Keiichi Yamamoto, 38, because he did not force the girl to enter his Hakodate hotel room, they said.

Yamamoto has admitted having sex with the teenager but denied raping her, saying she “consented (to the act) as if it was a game.”

Yamamoto, who has apologized to the girl, is suspected of raping her at the business hotel where he was staying on the night of July 16.

Police said the girl told Yamamoto she was 18.

Yamamoto’s employer, Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., a large entertainment conglomerate, canceled its contract with him in July after the incident came to light.

The alleged rape has been getting extra media attention because Yamamoto also was a member of an amateur baseball team that is headed by comedian Kinichi Hagimoto.

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