crime

Man arrested for kidnapping 11-year-old girl in Kanagawa

39 Comments

An unemployed 28-year-old man was arrested on Monday night on suspicion of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. A 19-year-old girl was also found by police at the suspect’s residence.

According to police, Shigeru Takahashi invited the 11-year-old girl to his home on Sunday after reading an online message in which she said she was 18 and wanted to run away from home, Fuji TV reported.

Police said that Takahashi sent the girl, who also lives in Kanagawa Prefecture, a message via his smartphone, suggesting she meet him at Odakyu-Sagamihara Station. He then took her to his Kawasaki residence.

Her parents reported her missing on Sunday night.

At around 5 p.m. on Monday, Takahashi was taken into custody. Police had tracked the girl’s whereabouts to his house after seeing the two of them together on train station surveillance camera footage. The girl was unharmed.

When police entered Takahashi’s house, they also found the 19-year-old girl but have so far not released any information on whether or not she was a kidnap victim, runaway or acquaintance of Takahashi.

© Japan Today

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39 Comments
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Lock him up

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Not sure the article supports kidnapping unless she unwillingly entered his apartment. Hopefully he had good intentions but who knows. Glad I don't have daughters I will say that.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

am i reading the article right? she willingly went with a stranger after posting that she wanted to run away. how is this kidnapping? he should be arrested for stupidity, not kidnapping.

and this is another reason i hate twitter and facebook. such nonsense being posted all the time.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

@ Reckless - the legal definition of kidnapping includes enticing then to go willingly

0 ( +6 / -6 )

a 19 year old goes willingly to a person's apartment, who may be an acquaintance (the article states it is not clear yet), and it might be "kidnapping"? I can kind of understand how that works with the 11-year-old, but still. In any case, glad the "kids" are okay. Takahashi needs to be seriously looked at.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hmm, is this a kidnapping or somebody giving a runaway somewhere to stay? Of course, he should have contacted the girl’s parents, but there is nothing to say she was kidnapped or his intentions were immoral. The definition of kidnapped is to be held against one’s will. It appears she was staying with him by her own free will, which doesn’t mean this is a kidnapping.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

they need to have a show like {to catch a predator} in japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Hopefully he had good intentions but who knows...

Of course, he should have contacted the girl’s parents, but there is nothing to say she was kidnapped or his intentions were immoral.

Are some people really this naive? A grown man somehow hears that an 11 year old girl on the net wants to run away from home, and he says "sure, come to my place."

In what possible universe could this man have good intentions?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

An unemployed 28-year-old man was arrested on Monday night on suspicion of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture. A 19-year-old girl was also found by police at the suspect’s residence. 

Of course they had to mention that he is unemployed (don't see why this is relevant?).

So let me get this straight, the 11y old kid wanted to run away, a good Samaritan offered the kid a place to stay. He was not obligated to do so at all, the kid could have been picked up and coerced by any numbers of pedophiles. The 19y old could have been an acquaintance or a friend that was asked to look after the 11y since maybe he didn't know how to do that by himself so he asked for help.

Now as to "why didn't he called the parents or cops" well lets see, maybe the 11y old told him the parents were abusive? Would you call them then? As for the cops we have no idea if he called them or not, article didn't mention anything.

The girl was unharmed.

If he had bad intentions the child wouldn't have been found unharmed, the same goes for that 19y old.

People read some article and immediately assume the worst. What I see here is a guy who maybe had or has a younger sister and when he saw the message on that board he understood what could happen to that child and so decided to help. He may have done it in a bit stupid way, he should have called the cops and notified them of what's going on but oh well that's now shoulda, woulda, coulda land.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Kawasaki City? City of a million brothels. Makes me wonder if he was grooming them....

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Nero Archangel,

”He was not obligated to do so at all, the kid could have been picked up and coerced by any numbers of pedophiles. “

Abd hd might have been one of them. We also don’t know at what age the 19-year-old ended up at his place. Could have been last week. Could have been 8 years ago. We also don’t know what condition she was in. If this guy is a true Good Samaritan I’m sure it will all get straightened out in time. Personally I’m happy to have the police errror on the side of caution in a case like this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

So let me get this straight, the 11y old kid wanted to run away, a good Samaritan offered the kid a place to stay

It reminds of the story we read on here last year I believe about the man who was arrested at a shopping mall for picking up a toddler and changing their diaper in tge restroom. Some people defended him as being a Good Samaritan and helping out the parents.

In this day and age with all of the horrible things going on, you can't just pick up a child/teenager that doesn't know you and not expect to raise suspicion.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

According to today's TV news, she had stated that she was 18 years old on the bulletin board. But of course, he must have noticed that that cannot be true when he met her.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

11 year olds are on online chats? something is wrong

2 ( +3 / -1 )

According to today's TV news, she had stated that she was 18 years old on the bulletin board. But of course, he must have noticed that that cannot be true when he met her.

Gas Panic night club in 1996, I was chatting to a girl, she was in the club and drinking alcohol so I assumed she was over 20 as that is the minimum legal age to enter a club and drink alcohol, after chatting and dancing for most of the night, we went to a love hotel, next morning when I woke up, she was dressed in a school uniform, found out she was only 15, yet she looked and behaved like someone over 20, so no in some cases you cannot tell their true age.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Nick in Japan

Admissions of statutory rape aside, the difference between an 11 year old and an 18 year old is difficult to hide.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Don't know why my comment about the definition got so many thumbs down. It's a fact not an opinion. Unless some of our readers want that to be okay

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@ Nick - so you admit to drinking with Dancing with and you know what with a child but you still want us to respect your opinion why would you print something like that in a public forum

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So you worked in a strip club, and took a child to a love motel, but you look down on US military members

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Michael JacksonToday  11:55 am JST

While you are actually right, when going against the general tide of the board maybe you should have cited the actual article in question.

(未成年者略取及び誘拐)

(Kidnapping of Minors)

第二百二十四条 未成年者を略取し、又は誘拐した者は、三月以上七年以下の懲役に処する。

Article 224 A person who kidnaps a minor by force or enticement shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not less than 3 months but not more than 7 years.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fair enough Kazu, but I don't like doing homework for others. Thanks for the information.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sensei258Today  12:04 pm JST

So you worked in a strip club, and took a child to a love motel, but you look down on US military members

Serious can you read? 1996 I was here working for Gas Panic, which is NOT a strip club, Gas Panic was a nightclub, 2006 I was working for the gentlemen's club ... Now as for Gas Panic, the JAPANESE security staff would have checked this girls ID before entry, and the bar staff who were all JAPANESE would have kicked her out if they though she was not 20 years old or older ... So if the Japanese could not tell her real age, how the hell could I who was only in Japan for about 3 weeks at the time? My wife is 46 years old and people think she is in her early 30, so some 15 year old looking like she is 20 would not be easy to pick for non-Japanese, even Japanese to tell the truth!

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

RiskyMosaicToday 

Admissions of statutory rape aside, the difference between an 11 year old and an 18 year old is difficult to hide.

OK lets get something straight for the non-educated ... 1996 Japan statutory rape law is violated when an individual has consensual sexual contact with a person under age 13. At 13, Japan's base age of consent is the lowest of any developed country ... It was not until I think it was 2008 that prefectures brought in local "corruption of minors" or "obscenity statutes" which raise the de-facto age of consent to 16-18, unless they are in a "sincere romantic relationship", usually determined by parental consent.

-13 ( +0 / -13 )

Nick in Japan

It was not until I think it was 2008 that prefectures brought in local "corruption of minors" or "obscenity statutes" which raise the de-facto age of consent to 16-18,

You might be right. But you'd have to provide more concrete evidence than, 'I think' to convince me of it. I don't know myself. But then I've never had to feverishly search the internet for age of consent laws to justify sleeping with a 15 year old when I was over 20.

As to the matter at hand, it is EASY to tell an 11 year old from an 18 year old.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@ Nick - you just confirmed what I said. You said you worked for a gentlemen's club, everyone knows that's doublespeak for a strip club. Who cares what year it was. Plus you yourself admitted bringing a 15 year old to a love motel. Whether you knew her true age would not be a defense in a court of law.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@ Nick - and plying her with alcohol before going to the hotel would add yet another charge, whether or not you knew she was a minor

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Readers back on topic please. Posts that do not focus on the story will be removed.

She's 11 years old. That means she's not legally responsible for her actions, because she doesn't know enough about anything to be legally responsible.

He's 28 years old. That means he is legally responsible for his actions. He's supposed to know better than to pick up an 11 year old girl, whether she thinks she wants to go home with him or not, and taker her back to his place without informing either parents or authorities.

There's no defence for this guy. Even if his intentions weren't the worst, it's just a profoundly stupid thing to do.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

When ya help a runaway, ya then call the authorities so they can get the experts who know how to deal with it properly

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In criminal law, kidnapping is the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and confinement of a person against his or her will. Thus, it is a composite crime. It can also be defined as false imprisonment by means of abduction, both of which are separate crimes that when committed simultaneously upon the same person merge as the single crime of kidnapping. The asportation/abduction element is typically but not necessarily conducted by means of force or fear. That is, the perpetrator may use a weapon to force the victim into a vehicle, but it is still kidnapping if the victim is enticed to enter the vehicle willingly, e.g., in the belief it is a taxicab.

This is the wikipedia meaning of kidnapping to which does not apply to this case. She lied about her age, willingly went with him by meeting him, getting on the train with him and accompanying him to his home without force, injury, threat or violence. This cannot be a "kidnapping".

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This cannot be a "kidnapping".

It’s not. It’s 誘拐. Japanese and English are unrelated, and therefore the meanings of words are often not one-to-one. The term fits in Japanese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

sir-bentley28

Child abduction, then. She was 11.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@StrangerlandToday 09:44 am JST

It’s not. It’s 誘拐. Japanese and English are unrelated, and therefore the meanings of words are often not one-to-one. The term fits in Japanese.

Actually, it is a potentially valid point in the guy's favor, even in Japan. The definition of 誘拐 (translating off a criminal law text) is something like: To get Victim to come under the domination of Defendant or a Third Party under a flawed consent gained by deception or enticement.

As Sir_Bentley was trying to point out, the key here is the "flawed" consent due to the deception and enticement leading to an inaccurate fact appreciation and just on the facts we know, there is no such thing here. Given the facts, it also doesn't seem that Victim was being "dominated" here.

It also depends on what you think is the primary legal interest being defended by Article 224. Sir Bentley cites something that seems to take the position that the primary interest being defended is the Victim's liberty (自由). From that perspective if there was no flawed consent there is no reason to treat it as a crime.

This position is hardly unknown in Japan, but the dominant jurisprudence is to treat it as a crime with two interests to protect - the Victim's liberty and the Guardian's Custodial Right. The reasoning is that in case of infants being abducted, they don't have a sense or ability of liberty, so there is no liberty to lose. By defining the primary legal interest as solely that of the Victim's liberty, in such a case nothing was harmed, and thus there would no crime. Obviously, this is impalatable and inconsistent with the purpose of the article.

Of course, a problem occurs when the victim's liberty is in competition with the guardian's custodial right, making this a live version of one of the four debated problems concerning Article 224. The result depends on whether the jurist sees the "custodial right" bit as a kind of backup or as a right with near equal value as the victim's liberty (or even the dominant value - this viewpoint also exists).

Both approaches apparently have their adherents. But it does mean that if you personally rule it as guilty, then maybe you are an ancient fossil that places too low a value on the value of individual liberty :-)

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The definition of 誘拐 (translating off a criminal law text) is something like: To get Victim to come under the domination of Defendant or a Third Party under a flawed consent gained by deception or enticement.

And yet, this is the charge that is pressed against suspects in these incidents. I'm guessing you're not a Japanese lawyer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Both approaches apparently have their adherents. But it does mean that if you personally rule it as guilty, then maybe you are an ancient fossil that places too low a value on the value of individual liberty :-)

The liberty of an 11-year-old girl to live with a 28-year-old male stranger whom she met on the internet. Yeah, good one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Strangerland Today 06:38 pm JST

And yet, this is the charge that is pressed against suspects in these incidents. I'm guessing you're not a Japanese lawyer.

I don't claim to be, but I am reading the explanation off one of the textbooks that are used to bring up lawyers, and questions concerning this very article apparently were asked in the relevant examinations in Heisei 26.

Each case is different and I am not saying the police shouldn't investigate it (despite those 23-day confession inducers), but I must point out in this case, according to the article Suspect hasn't even seen his prosecutor yet. Anyway, the fact solution may turn out to be that he deceived in some way after all, but it is important to note so far that information is not there yet.

@Stop!Hammertime.Today 09:02 pm JST

The liberty of an 11-year-old girl to live with a 28-year-old male stranger whom she met on the internet. Yeah, good one.

Have you considered trying to raise the level of your objection to beyond the level of "ick"? Try and come up with reasoning, as to what legal interests are harmed or endangered, of course, IF we assume the consent is genuine.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't claim to be, but I am reading the explanation off one of the textbooks that are used to bring up lawyers, and questions concerning this very article apparently were asked in the relevant examinations in Heisei 26.

So the what in your esteemed opinion is the reason that the police and prosecutors, who are tasked to investigate and make charges under laws, would choose to charge someone with 誘拐 if it wasn't?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kazuaki

Have you considered trying to raise the level of your objection to beyond the level of "ick"?

Nope. And nor will I.

Try and come up with reasoning, as to what legal interests are harmed or endangered,

I leave that to the gas-bag lawyers and those who might get off on the idea of an 11-year-old with a 28-year-old.

IF we assume the consent is genuine.

Consent of a minor, without permission from a guardian? Big IF.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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