• Kyodo


A 51-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly cut a hole in his apartment floor to break into the apartment below before attempting to rape a woman with whom he was infatuated, police have said.

Police in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, said Wednesday that Masahito Sato, a Tsukuba company employee, was arrested on charges of unlawful entry and indecent assault resulting in injury over the attack on the 39-year-old woman.

According to police, Sato was a frequent customer of a restaurant the woman operated. He told police, “I have romantic feelings (for her).”

Sato moved into the apartment directly above the woman’s first-floor residence in mid-October. In a case of apparent fatal attraction, it is unclear how Sato knew where the woman lived or that the room above her had been vacant.

Using a saw and other implements, he spent about 10 days making a hole 50 cm in diameter in the floor of his apartment, according to police.

Police suspect that around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sato descended through the hole and removed a panel in the ceiling of the woman’s bathroom before climbing down into her apartment.

When the woman returned home, Sato allegedly pressed a stun gun against her and knocked her to the floor before trying to rape her. The woman sustained injuries, including abrasions to her left hand.

The suspect fled when the woman resisted. Police discovered Sato in a nearby convenience store about five hours later.

Police sent Sato to prosecutors on Wednesday.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.