A prominent figure-skating coach in Japan has been arrested on suspicion of raping and assaulting a 13-year-old girl he was training, police said Thursday.
Yasuji Sakai, 56, who resigned as an executive of the Japan Figure Skating Instructor Association last week, was arrested in the central prefecture of Aichi on Wednesday, local police said.
Sakai, who has trained renowned skaters, allegedly raped the girl on April 11 when she was spending the night at his house for early-morning training.
"He allegedly climbed on top of her when she was sleeping on the second floor of his house and assaulted her, causing her injuries that needed one week of treatment," a police spokesman said.
The girl's mother and younger sister were also staying at the coach's home but were sleeping in a different room, the mother said in an interview aired on the private Fuji television network Thursday.
"She came to me, saying, 'Mama, Mr Sakai sneaked into my futon and did weird things to me.' She then burst into tears. She was crying and trembling so hard... My daughter was in a panic," the mother said.
"While he was assaulting her, he strangled her. She felt a horror like she was dying," the mother said.
According to the mother, Sakai initially said he had mistaken the girl for his wife and apologized.
But he later retracted his admission and reportedly said he was drunk.
"I will never forgive him if he admits it in the future. I will keep cursing him until the day I die," the mother said.
The instructor association, to which most of Japan's well-known coaches belong, said in a statement Wednesday that the incident was "very regrettable" if the allegations are true.
The association noted it earlier tried to question Sakai but was unable as he had been in the hospital since late April.
"I have the strong impression that he is a well-tempered, gentle man," Association chief Nobuo Sato told Fuji. "I still can't believe it."
Jiji Press news agency reported the police went ahead with arresting him after confirming he was fit enough to be detained.© Wire reports