The Tokyo District Court on Thursday handed a three-year suspended sentence to a 26-year-old man for raping a woman living in the apartment building where he was living in Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward in 2018.
The court found Daiki Inai, who was 24 and a University of Tokyo student at the time of the incident, guilty of forcing a woman in her 30s to commit a sexual act against her will and “making her unable to defend herself.”
The prosecution had sought a five-year prison term.
In the ruling, presiding Judge Toshihiko Funaba said that on the morning of Sept. 15, 2018, Inai grabbed his victim by her right arm and took her by force to his apartment. He grabbed the luggage of the victim, then 32, in an elevator in the high-rise condo in Shinjuku. The two did not know each other, the judge said.
He was arrested the same day.
Funaba said that “his act has caused the victim a tremendous emotional distress and physical harm.”
Inai was known for appearing on TV quiz shows. In 2014, he participated in the university’s Mr. Todai beauty contest and was one of the five finalists introduced online. He also enjoyed popularity on social media.
The ruling in Inai’s case comes amid Japan’s late-blooming #MeToo movement and growing calls for an overhaul of the nation’s rape laws, which critics say fail to protect victims of sexual violence and let abusers walk free.
In 2017, the first significant review of sexual offenses since the establishment of the Penal Code in 1907 expanded the acts that constitute rape to include anal and oral sex, recognized that men are potential rape victims and raised minimum sentences from three years up to five.
However, Funaba said he handed down the suspended sentence as an out-of-court settlement has been reached in which Inai agreed to pay the woman ¥7.5 million in compensation. The settlement also obliges his parents to supervise him.
Funaba cited the fact that Inai had no prior criminal conviction as another mitigating factor.
The judge also noted Inai was intoxicated on the day of the crime.
“During the trial, the defendant admitted to the charges and has shown remorse,” Funaba said.
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