Two-time Olympic judo champion Uchishiba arrested on suspicion of rape

Masato Uchishiba. Kyodo News photo

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Two-time Olympic judo champion Masato Uchishiba was arrested Dec. 6 on suspicion of raping a female member of the judo team of the university where he had served as a coach.

Uchishiba, 33, allegedly raped the teenage woman at a Tokyo hotel in late September while she was falling asleep after drinking alcohol, Tokyo police said.

The police said Uchishiba drank alcohol with the woman and other team members at a restaurant in Tokyo during a road trip for the team from Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare in Tamana, Kumamoto Prefecture.

Uchishiba has denied the allegations, telling investigators he and the alleged victim had consensual sex, the police said.

The Penal Code sets punishment at a minimum of three years in prison for those who raped by taking advantage of the victim’s loss of consciousness or inability to resist, or by causing a loss of consciousness or inability to resist.

The police launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from the woman.

The police searched Uchishiba’s house in Tamana on Dec. 6, while further investigating if he was involved in inappropriate acts involving other students, investigative sources said.

After winning gold medals in the men’s 66-kilogram (145.5 pound) class at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics, he became a guest professor at the university in January this year and also a coach of the university’s judo team.

But he was dismissed on Nov. 29 on the grounds he had sexually harassed a female member of the university’s judo team.

After the dismissal, Uchishiba wrote on his blog that he had had many questions about the disciplinary action and that he would consult with his lawyer.

Uchishiba lost in the third round at the 2009 world championships in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He also made a first-round exit at the national weight-class championships in April last year.

He retired from competitive judo in October last year.

Comments

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