• Kyodo, Staff Report

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Police have opened an investigation into male students belonging to a group that organizes Keio University’s annual beauty pageant on suspicion they raped a student in a facility in Hayama, Kanagawa Prefecture, according to sources.

The investigative sources said Thursday that the woman consulted the police early last month, saying she was sexually assaulted.

On Oct. 4, the university announced that it had ordered the group, the Keio Advertisement Society, to disband for forcing several minors to drink alcohol at a party Sept. 2 at a place where the group was spending the night.

Keio said in a statement that it had confirmed some “dangerous acts,” including forced participation in drinking games, and that the university had repeatedly warned the group over similar misconduct in the past.

The group, which has more than 90 years of history, also announced that this year’s Miss Keio Contest, which was slated for November during a university festival, will not be held.

The weekly magazines Shukan Bunshun and Shukan Shincho published reports Thursday that the male students forced the woman to drink large quantities of alcohol, gang raped her and videotaped the act.

The university said that it has questioned people connected with the allegations several times but was unable to confirm whether the illegal acts reported in the magazines had transpired. It said the case should be left to the police and denied any coverup of information.

Many universities hold beauty pageants during their campus festivals, and the Miss Keio Contest is known as one of the first major steps on the road to becoming a television anchorwoman.

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