Man sentenced to life for 28 rapes, attempted sexual assaults

Kyodo

The Osaka District Court sentenced a 44-year-old man to life in prison Wednesday for raping or attempting to rape 28 women and girls from 2001 to 2006 in Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo and Nara prefectures, as well as robbing some of his victims.

Kenji Ikeda, a former moneylender, “has committed extraordinarily heinous crimes, has a strong recidivist tendency and completely lacks a normal sense of morality,” Judge Hiroshi Akiyama said.

“While committing the crimes to sate his sexual desire, he sought to rob his victims of their money and other possessions because he lacked cash,” the judge said.

According to the court, Ikeda sometimes disguised himself as a gas inspector to be admitted into women’s homes or entered unlocked apartments inhabited by women in the four prefectures between June 2001 and February 2006.

In these incidents, he either raped or tried to rape 28 females aged between 10 and 34, stole their cash and hurt some of them. Ikeda had previously been jailed twice for robbery-assaults.

Groper’s term upheld

The Tokyo High Court upheld a four-month prison term Wednesday for Kazuhide Uekusa, at one time a high-profile economist who frequently appeared on television, for groping a high school girl on a commuter train in Tokyo in 2006.

Presiding Judge Yasuro Tanaka called the victim’s testimony “highly credible” and added there was no possibility of mistaken identity as he dismissed a plea of innocence by Uekusa, 47.

“The victim gave a specific description of her position in relation to the groper, and this and other information was corroborated by witnesses who observed the situation from close range,” the judge said. The defense immediately appealed to the Supreme Court.

Uekusa was found guilty of putting his hand up the high school girl’s skirt and touching her while riding on a train in Tokyo on Sept. 13, 2006.

In March 2005, Uekusa was convicted of public indecency and sentenced to pay a fine for actions including using a mirror to try to look up a high school girl’s skirt on an escalator at a Tokyo railway station in April 2004. He was a professor at Waseda University at the time.