National / Crime & Legal

Actor Yuta Takahata arrested for alleged sexual assault of hotel staffer

by Daisuke Kikuchi

Staff Writer

Actor Yuta Takahata, 22, was arrested on early Tuesday after he allegedly sexually assaulted a hotel worker in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture.

The victim, who is in her 40s, reportedly sustained injuries.

Police say Takahata admitted assaulting the woman, telling them he “couldn’t control” his desire after looking at her. They sent him to prosecutors Wednesday.

The son of popular actress Atsuko Takahata, Yuta is one of the young stars of Japanese show business, with regular TV appearances and roles in movies.

He is currently appearing in the Fuji TV drama “Tonari no Shinsengumi.” An episode due to air Thursday has been pulled from the schedules, while a second TV network scrubbed Takahata’s name from the lineup of an upcoming telethon.

Police say Takahata attacked the worker in his room after returning from a night out drinking.

Takahata said there was no premeditation, but police are keeping open the possibility that he and the victim were already acquainted.

Investigators said Takahata asked the employee to bring him a toothbrush and then pulled her into the room around 2 a.m. Tuesday. He allegedly pinned down her arms and legs during the assault.

At around 3:30 a.m., an acquaintance of the victim alerted police.

“A female friend was pulled into a hotel room and was assaulted after being pushed down onto the bed. The criminal is Yuta Takahata,” the individual said, according to investigators.

Police took Takahata to the Maebashi Police Station, where he was formally arrested at around 1:30 p.m.

Takahata has been staying at the hotel since Sunday for a film shoot. He reportedly went out drinking with staff on Monday night but is not thought to have been drunk at the time of the incident.

Meanwhile, Nippon Television Network dumped Takahata from a major upcoming appearance, scrapping his headline billing on the network’s 24 Hour Television live telethon, which airs Saturday and Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Sports Hochi newspaper quoted NTV as saying all Takahata’s planned appearances are suspended for now.

His name and images were no longer on the 24 Hour Television website as of Wednesday, and internet bloggers said posters bearing his name had been taken down.

Information from Kyodo added