Ex-Actor Arai Denies Rape Charge at Court Hearing


Tokyo, Sept. 2 (Jiji Press)--Former Japanese award-winning actor Hirofumi Arai pleaded not guilty to a sexual assault charge at his first court hearing on Monday.

"I never committed violence," Arai said during the hearing at Tokyo District Court. "I believe there was consent."

According to the indictment, the 40-year-old man raped a woman dispatched from a massage service firm to his apartment in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward in the early hours of July 1 last year.

At the hearing, the prosecution said in their opening statement that Arai, who called the masseuse after returning home from a drinking party with friends, "got excited while receiving a massage and committed the crime."

Meanwhile, a defense lawyer claimed that he "cannot be charged with forcible intercourse because no violence was unleashed on her."

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Jiji Press