High court upholds five-year rape sentence for Olympic judo champion


The Tokyo High Court upheld on Wednesday a lower court decision sentencing two-time Olympic judo champion Masato Uchishiba to a five-year prison term for raping a female member of a university judo team in 2011.

The 35-year-old 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing 66-kg gold medalist raped the drunken student at a Tokyo hotel in September 2011 when he was coaching the women’s judo team at Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare, according to the court.

Uchishiba argued he had had consensual sex with the student, while the victim said she was raped while drunk and asleep.

The high court said Uchishiba’s claim of innocence cannot be trusted, calling it “illogical.”

“It is obvious the victim had passed out from drinking until late at night after training, at the time of the incident,” presiding Judge Akira Kanaya said.

In February, the Tokyo District Court ruled that Uchishiba bears heavy responsibility for causing deep psychological harm to the victim, regardless of his judo achievements.

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