crime

Ex-taxi driver goes on trial for stalking actress Momoko Kikuchi

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A 57-year-old man, who was arrested in March for stalking 50-year-old actress Momoko Kikuchi, went on trial at the Tokyo District Court on Monday. 

According to the indictment, Hiromitsu Iizuka, an ex-taxi driver for Nihon Kotsu, violated a restraining order and went to Kikuchi’s home on June 19 and pressed the intercom for her apartment, Fuji TV reported. He was arrested on March 31 after he posted on Twitter that he was going to Kikuchi's home that day. He was fined 300,000 yen and issued a restraining order, which he promised to obey.

Police said Iizuka first learned of Kikuchi’s residence after he drove her home in his taxi last fall. After that, he began repeatedly visiting her home and trying to talk to her through the intercom. He was formally warned by the police to stop stalking the actress.

However, Iizuka showed up outside Kikuchi’s apartment at 4 p.m. on June 19 and was seen pressing the intercom. The actress, who is currently living elsewhere, visited the apartment a few days later and saw video footage of Iizuka at the intercom. She contacted police who arrested Iizuka again for violating the anti-stalking law.

After Iizuka was arrested the first time, Kikuchi wrote on her blog, “There was a man who had recently quit his job at a taxi company, and thus, I was in an increasingly dangerous situation because no one was able to understand his unpredictable behavior. These past few months have been filled with days of uneasiness, and even my entire family was unable to sleep out of fear.”

After his second arrest, Iizuka was quoted by police as saying he knew he shouldn’t have gone back to Kikuchi's apartment but the desire to see her again was too strong.

In Monday’s session, Iizuka pleaded guilty. He said he went back to Kikuchi’s apartment the second time because he thought he would be forgiven if he apologized. 

At the beginning of the trial, prosecutors read out a statement by Kikuchi, who was not present, in which she said: “Since I’ve been repeatedly stalked, I ask that these incidents do not reoccur in the future.”

© Japan Today

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Taxi Driver. 'you lookin' at me?

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