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  • Mainichi: Iranian acquitted of indecent assault over lack of evidence

    Posted by Dr. ARUDOU, Debito on September 30th, 2007

    Hi Blog. Here’s a bit of hope for Mr Idubor, accused similarly of a sexual crime and still being held for eight months now despite no evidence.

    A person’s (a NJ, to boot) case has been dismissed for “lack of evidence”. Good. Pity it took over a year and a half to come to this conclusion.

    What I also find rather amusing about the case below is the “fondling”, causing “slight neck injuries”? What are we talking about here, hickies?

    Case dismissed. Debito.

    //////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    Man acquitted of indecent assault over lack of evidence
    Mainichi Shinbun September 28, 2007

    http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20070928p2a00m0na010000c.html
    Courtesy of Ben Shearon

    YOKOHAMA — A man has been acquitted of the indecent assault of a woman at his home in January last year, due to lack of evidence.

    The Yokohama District Court found the defendant, an antique goods dealer and an Iranian national, not guilty for a lack of evidence. Prosecutors had demanded that the accused spend four years behind bars for indecent assault, resulting in injury.

    Presiding Judge Kenichi Kurita pointed out that the alleged victim’s testimony changed during the trial and could not be trusted, declaring, “It cannot be concluded that the man molested her despite her will.”

    The man was charged with fondling the body of a 32-year-old acquaintance at his home in Midori-ku, Yokohama, on Jan. 28, 2006, causing her slight neck injuries. (Mainichi)

    ==================================

    強制わいせつ:イラン国籍の男性に無罪 横浜地裁
    http://www.mainichi-msn.co.jp/shakai/jiken/news/20070928k0000e040045000c.html
     知人女性の体を触るなどしたとして強制わいせつ致傷罪に問われたイラン国籍の古物商の男性に対し横浜地裁は27日、「犯罪の証明がない」として無罪(求刑・懲役4年)を言い渡した。
     男性は06年1月28日、横浜市緑区の自宅で、知人の女性(当時32歳)の体を触るなどしたうえ、首に軽傷を負わせたとして起訴された。しかし栗田健一裁判長は判決で女性の公判での供述の変遷などから「全体として信用できず、男性が女性の意志に反してわいせつな行為をしたとまで断定できない」と指摘した。【鈴木一生】
    英文を読む
    毎日新聞 2007年9月28日 11時26分
    ENDS

    6 Responses to “Mainichi: Iranian acquitted of indecent assault over lack of evidence”

    1. James Says:

      What stuck out the most to me about this article was the fact that Mainichi’s English edition mentions his nationality in passing near the end of the article, while in its Japanese edition, his nationality is in the headline and the very first sentence of the article.

      –YES, QUITE. THANKS FOR POINTING THAT OUT. SORRY TO HAVE MISSED IT MYSELF. MAYBE I’M (GASP!) GETTING USED TO IT…? :) DEBITO

    2. debito Says:

      COMMENT FROM CYBERSPACE:

      the article states that the alleged transgression took place in the guys house. i have been told by people that study japanese law, that ACCORDING to japanese law, if a man and a woman are in a house/apartment alone together, it is legally considered that they are having intercourse. this doesnt seem out of line with what i know of japanese sexuality, (i know i really sound like an ass when i say THAT but its true) but according to this article, either
      a) this understanding of mine is just a misconception
      or
      b) the law is different in the case of foreigners.

      i have had MANY japanese female friends that have refused to come to my house alone (or allow me to theirs), and i was baffled by this for a long time until i learned about this law (if it is true). it always seemed to fit the of course of experience, but i have never looked it up…

      this might just be an urban legend (after all, one of my japanese friends told me that age of consent depends on the 県 – yeah right), but i guess now is as good of a time as any to look this up, if only to quell the rumor. i certainly hope i never end up accused of anything like a rape case, especially here. ugh.
      ENDS

    3. Steve Says:

      Debito, just because a woman enters a man’s home in and of itself does not make her claim any less credible. The article does not go into detail about how her testimony was supposedly contradictory or what kinds of injuries she allegedly sustained on her neck. Just as we want Japanese not to be quick to make conclusions about foreigners, so do we not want to make quick conclusions about women entering men’s houses either. Let’s get all the details first before we pronounce this case a victory for justice.

      WHAT I WAS SAYING IS THAT WHAT GOT THE PERSON IN THE CLEAR–AS FAR AS THE JAPANESE JUDICIARY IS CONCERNED–WHEN IT COMES TO WHETHER OR NOT THERE WAS ANY SEXUAL ASSAULT, WAS 1) THE LACK OF EVIDENCE THAT SHE WAS ASSAULTED, AND 2) THE PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE THAT IT WAS CONSENSUAL–SINCE SHE ACCOMPANIED HIM TO HIS LIVING SPACE.

      I AM NOT MERELY SHOUTING HURRAH THAT SOME NJ GOT OFF. I’M SHOUTING HURRAH THAT SOMEBODY ACCEPTED REASONABLE STANDARDS OF EVIDENCE (OR LACK THEREOF) FOR A CHANGE AND LET THE ACCUSED OFF. THE CHANCES OF THIS SORT OF THING HAPPENING ARE STATISTICALLY 0.1% IN JAPAN–AND PROBABLY EVEN LOWER IN SEXUALITY CASES, AND EVEN LOWER THAN THAT IF THE ACCUSED IS A NJ.

      PRESUMPTION OF GUILT DIDN’T WIN OUT THIS TIME. AND THAT IS DUE TO, ACCORDING TO ONE OF MY SOURCES, WHAT COUNTS IN THE EYES OF THE COURT AS “CONSENSUAL” IN JAPAN.

      MORAL: GIVEN JAPAN’S SCREWY CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, IF YOU AS A MALE WANT TO GET TO KNOW A FEMALE IN THE BIBLICAL SENSE, AND YOU DON’T WANT TO BE FALSELY ACCUSED OF RAPE BY THAT PETULANT LOVER LATER, IT’S BEST IF IT’S YOUR PLACE, NOT HERS. AGREE WITH IT OR NOT, THAT’S WHAT FLIES IN THIS SOCIETY. BETTER TO BE IN THE KNOW THAN TO ROT IN JAIL UNDER A FALSE ACCUSATION FOR A YEAR OR TWO. DEBITO

    4. Steve Says:

      Debito, thanks for the response.

      Just because a woman comes to a man’s place does mean that she is consenting to sex. No means no, no matter where it is.

      The article doesn’t talk about what kinds of injuries she had on her neck — it may have been “hickies”, or it may have been bruise marks from attempted strangulation — we don’t know from the article. But to assume it was the former as you did is jumping to conclusions that cannot be substantiated from the little information we have from the article.

      It is noteworthy that the case was dismissed given the presumption of guilt for suspects brought before the Japanese courts. However, we simply do not know from the article what evidence was presented and on what basis the judge dismissed the case. I’m concerned that you’re making a lot of assumptions in your statements here that are based on very little concrete information.

      –GIVEN THE STANDARDS OF EVIDENCE IN JAPAN, WHERE NO EVIDENCE IS STILL GUILT, I WONDER WHAT EVIDENCE WOULD SWAY THE JUDGE IN A DIRECTION OF INNOCENCE. PROBABLY LUDICROUSNESS. IF SO, THEN I’LL ASSUME HICKIES PORTRAYED AS INJURIES. BELIEVE YOU ME, IF THERE WAS EVEN THE SLIGHTEST SUSPICION OF STRANGULATION MARKS, HE WOULD HAVE GONE TO THE PEN. PEOPLE GO DOWN FOR FAR LESS.

      ANYWAY, I GUESS WHAT YOU’D LIKE IS NO MENTION OR FANFARE MADE OVER THIS ARTICLE AT ALL, GIVEN THAT IT SAYS SO LITTLE ABOUT THE FACTS OF THE CASE. SORRY. I STILL THINK IT WARRANTS MENTION AS IT IS EVIDENCE THAT IT’S POSSIBLE FOR PEOPLE TO GET SPRUNG–EVEN WHEN THE DECK IS SYSTEMATICALLY SO STACKED AGAINST THE ACCUSED IN JAPAN. I GUESS WE’LL HAVE TO AGREE TO DISAGREE ON THIS ONE. DEBITO

    5. Steve Silver Says:

      I would recommend reading _Sexual Violence and the Law in Japan_ by Catherine Burns. It might help put this case in the context of how rape cases typically turn out for women in Japan. — Steve

    6. Steve Silver Says:

      And I would recommend reading the following:

      Decisions not to report Sexual Assault in Japan (http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/proceedings/27/dussich.pdf)

      Excerpt: In the United States, it is common for both police and lawyers to dissuade rape victims from filing charges when the rape did not involve visible signs of physical violence (bruises, torn clothing). As a result, rape has the lowest conviction rate of all violent crimes. A similar trend occurs in Japan for prosecution: for the years 1990, 1991 and 1992 the rates of prosecution were lower than for the crimes of robbery, bodily injury (aggravated assault), and violent acts. In an earlier study, Shigemori (1970) reported that in the cities he sampled (Tokyo, Utsunomiya, Kumamoto, and Yamagata) a significant percentage (18.1 to 32.5 per cent) of victims decided to withdraw their charges due to their misfeasance/negligence. This explanation used a bias frequently found in the legal profession that some women share responsibility for their victimisation. Thus, their withdrawal of the charge was due to being told or convinced they were not totally innocent.”

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