National / Crime & Legal

Ibaraki assemblyman held for rape of elementary school girl

Kyodo

A municipal assemblyman in Kashima, Ibaraki Prefecture, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of raping an elementary school girl after giving her an iPod, police said.

Noriyoshi Takamura, 46, is also facing charges of child prostitution, the police said.

According to investigators, Takamura approached the girl after they got to know each other on Twitter. Then on Oct. 12 last year, the assemblyman molested her at a hotel in Kashima, in exchange for an iPod Touch.

Takamura reportedly told police, “I will speak only through my attorney.”

The case surfaced after the parents of the girl wondered why their daughter had a brand-new iPod. After finding out what had happened, the parents reported the incident to police.

Takamura won his first seat in the Kashima assembly in an election last April.