On Oct 6, 2009, a 17-year-old girl was sexually assaulted on the grounds of a Shinto shrine in Miyamae Ward, Kawasaki City. The rapist was never found.
The case had gone cold for the next 10 years until Oct 9, 2019, when DNA matching the suspect in this case was found when 38-year-old So Kurokawa of nearby Yokohama City was arrested on a completely unrelated charge. However, in a truly bitter stroke of bad luck, the statute of limitations for the rape had expired on Oct 5 –- only four days earlier.
And so, police were forced to let the suspect go at that time.
Refusing to let this slide, the police quickly took action and began investigating all of Kurokawa’s movements over the past 10 years, aware of a technicality in the Japanese law that states a statute of limitations is suspended whenever the suspect is not on Japanese soil.
This meant that time was of the essence, as they had already lost four days and had no idea if the suspect had ever gone abroad, let alone for how long.
In the end, they found that over the past 10 years he had stepped outside the country on a number of occasions totaling about two months overseas. This gave them ample time to swoop in and make the arrest on Nov 12. Kurokawa is currently denying the charges saying, “I don’t remember.”
With a last-minute move against a ticking clock, this arrest seems straight out of a TV show and many online felt the same.
“I remember hearing about the statute of limitations thing on a detective show, but never saw it in real life.”
“It’s disgusting how the person who committed the rape doesn’t even remember, while the victim has to remember their whole life.”
“Don’t they have to convict him within the extended statute of limitations too? That’s going to be tight.”
“I’m glad they caught him, but what’s the point of the statute of limitations in the first place?”
“This was in Detective Conan once.”
“What kind of creepy defense is, ‘I don’t remember’ supposed to be? Wouldn’t any normal innocent person just say ‘I didn’t do it,’ instead?”
“That happened in Final Cut with Kazuya Kamenashi!”
In the event that a conviction has to be made within the two-month extension, the DNA evidence and weak denial of the suspect should make it relatively easy. A successful ID by the victim will also help, but unfortunately cause her to revisit that dark time once again.
Source: NHK News Web, Kyodo News, Hachima Kiko
Read more stories from SoraNews24.
- External Link