Three Yomiuri newspaper salesmen have been arrested for allegedly abducting, robbing and raping a 20-year-old woman in Urawa, Saitama Prefecture, police said Tuesday. Two of the suspects have been identified as 34-year-old Masafumi Hirakawa, who has been charged with abduction, robbery and rape, and Shoichi Akaboshi, 28, who has been charged with abduction and burglary. The three door-to-door newspaper salesmen were coworkers based at the same branch, police said.
Police believe that on Oct 12 at around 9 p.m., the men called the woman, who works at a club, and with whom Hirakawa was acquainted and asked her to meet them in Saitama. They then allegedly threatened to force her to work as a prostitute at a "soapland," punched her in the face and stole around 20,000 yen in cash. It is alleged that Hirakawa then took the girl to a hotel where he raped her, before stealing a further 50,000 yen and a valuable watch from her apartment.
According to Urawa police, the three men have confessed to the charge of abduction, but deny the other crimes.
A spokesperson for the Yomiuri Shimbun public relations department said, "The men were not employed by us directly. They were employed by a sales company with whom we are affiliated. We are appalled at the incident."© Compiled from news reports