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Japan: Olympic Judo champ and national hero charged with teen rape

Publish Date: 28 Dec 2011
Source: Tokyo Reporter/AFP

Masato Uchishiba, 2008.


Japanese Olympic Judo champion and national hero charged with rape, AFP says 

TOKYO — Japan's retired double Olympic judo gold medallist Masato Uchishiba was indicted Tuesday on charges of raping a teenage girl at a Tokyo hotel.

Uchishiba, 33, who won the 66kg title at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics and retired from competition last year, was arrested three weeks ago.

He has acknowledged that he had sex with the unnamed girl, but has insisted it was consensual, police have said.

The Tokyo public prosecutors office said in a statement that Uchishiba had sexual intercourse with the girl in a hotel room on September 20 when she was "unable to resist as she was in a profound sleep due to intoxication."

Uchishiba was hailed as a hero at home when he became the first Japanese to win a gold medal in any sport at the 2008 Beijing Olympics when Japan won just two medals in men's judo, an all-time low.

He was sacked nearly a month ago by a provincial university where he had been coaching its women's judo team since April 2010. He became a visiting professor at the school last January.

Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare has accused Uchishiba of sexually harassing a teenaged member of the team after getting her drunk at a hotel in September during a training camp.

According to media reports, quoting police sources, Uchishiba had a drinking session with the girl and other people at a Japanese-style pub near the hotel before the alleged incident.

Source: AFP

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