crime

Suspected panty thief acquitted after accuser can’t prove stolen panties are hers

31 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

The Fukuoka District Court this week handed down its verdict in a suspected pantie theft trial. Back in July of 2016, a woman in Fukuoka City’s Hakata Ward says she hung a pair of panties to dry on her balcony, and they later went missing.

The suspect, a 49-year-old resident of the neighboring city of Onojo, gave an inconsistent statement as to his whereabouts at the time prosecutors said the theft took place. He was also found to be in possession of a pair of stolen panties just like the ones the woman said went missing.

That might sound like a slam-dunk conviction, but the prosecutors ran into a problem. The panties the woman claimed were stolen are a model that’s readily available at mass-market retailers, with “no special characteristics.” And while the man has admitted to stealing a number of panties in the area around the woman’s condominium during July of 2016, he says he has “no clear memory” of specifically stealing underwear from her balcony.

Ultimately, presiding judge Torahiko Ota ruled on June 17 that the prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to establish that the stolen panties the man was in possession of were the woman’s panties, and so the man was acquitted, thus avoiding the two years in prison the prosecution was seeking (though he likely still faces some sort of punishment for his admitted thefts).

Ota also pointed out that the woman did not notice that she was unable to find her panties until the police, ostensibly as part of an investigation into the thefts that had been taking place in the neighborhood, asked her if any of her underwear had been stolen, as opposed to noticing the disappearance herself on the day prosecutors claimed the crime took place. During the trial, she was unable to remember if she herself had thrown out the panties between the time of the alleged theft and when she noticed that she was unable to find them.

“You are being acquitted of this charge,” Ota told the defendant, “but I would like you to think seriously about the sort of life you should lead going forward.”

Most people would agree that it’s necessary for a modern judicial system to place the burden of establishing guilt on the prosecutors, and withhold punishment until a suitable standard has been met. At the same time, one could still come away from the ruling that thieves can avoid individual convictions by stealing conservatively styled, generic-looking panties, and enough of them so as to believably claim that they can’t remember any specific incident. We’re not sure what the countermeasure to that is supposed to be, except maybe writing your name on every pair of underwear you own, or splurging for splashy, distinctive couture lingerie to more easily prove that you’re the rightful owner.

Sources: Livedoor News/Kyodo via Jin, Livedoor News/Yomiuri Shimbun

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Brazilian man acquitted of sexual assault after kissing Japanese woman on Nagoya train

-- Board of education suspends Japanese teacher who stockpiled 750 pairs of panties at school

-- Man found innocent of molesting charges by claiming he was pickpocketing

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

31 Comments
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“You are being acquitted of this charge,” Ota told the defendant, “but I would like you to think seriously about the sort of life you should lead going forward.”

Like DOH! And YOU as the judge could have gone a long, long way to seeing that his life would change!

Not to mention that it seems like others here get convicted on far less "evidence" that the reasons for not convicting him seem pretty weak!

I can not recall anyone getting off on a technicality as slim as this before. Probably wrong, but hell it sure sounds flimsy!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

After giving his verdict the judge retired to his office and placed panties that had “no special characteristics.” On his face and had a nap.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Surely a sniffer dog could’ve proved his guilt

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Unless it was a dog with a panties fetish.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

2 years is what they wanted to sentence him to for stealing knickers?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

That is harsh. If convicted, he should've just had his taken.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I smell something fishy...

2 ( +5 / -3 )

“You are being acquitted of this charge,” Ota told the defendant, “but I would like you to think seriously about the sort of life you should lead going forward.”

the judge needs to be considering what kind of treatment this creep should be receiving for his demented and perverted life choices.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The panties the woman claimed were stolen are a model that’s readily available at mass-market retailers, with “no special characteristics.”

This is precisely why every self-respecting woman should own at least a couple of crotchless panties.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The guy admitted to going on to multiple balconies and steaming underwear. So, who cares if the ones he stole had no special characteristics? They were women's underwear, and they were found in his possession. This is just another case of releasing a potential sex offender back into the public. Unbelievable.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

It seems like his was saved by the "boys will boys" motto. Does his family have any connections?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

They were women's underwear, and they were found in his possession. 

They could have been purchased by him in any number of stores or on line websites.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Sound like the prosecutors got caught with their pants down in the end.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Man, he lucked out!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Justice is served. (Strange context though.)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After giving his verdict the judge retired to his office and placed panties that had “no special characteristics.” On his face and had a nap.

I'm literally crying with laughing here! Best comment of the day!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This kind of ties into the chain of command discussion we were having about the guy whose wallet was turned in with cocaine in it, but he didn’t have his wallet for two days. Seems it may be hard to prove without an established chain of custody from the suspect to the police.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

They could have been purchased by him in any number of stores or on line websites

Except the article clearly states he admitted stealing a number of them in the vicinity of the woman,s apartment. He didnt say he bought any.

Cricky.. ..LOL

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I foresee a niche market for knickers with GPS fitted. As an added bonus, husbands can keep track on the whereabouts of their wives by App.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is harsh. If convicted, he should've just had his taken.

Trouble is, though purloining panties is fairly harmless in itself, there are women out there who would be freaked out by it if their imagination runs wild. Maybe I have a stalker? Maybe this is the first move towards a sexual assault? Will he attack my family?

Thats why this kind of behaviour needs to be stamped on.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To be fair, the Judge gets a HUGE salery and his wife and daughters have monogrammed underwear. It not like some one can claim they stole underwear from evey apartment but not his,.

check his draws

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That might sound like a slam-dunk conviction, but the prosecutors ran into a problem. The panties the woman claimed were stolen are a model that’s readily available at mass-market retailers, with “no special characteristics.” And while the man has admitted to stealing a number of panties in the area around the woman’s condominium during July of 2016, he says he has “no clear memory” of specifically stealing underwear from her balcony.

Ultimately, presiding judge Torahiko Ota ruled on June 17 that the prosecutors had not presented enough evidence to establish that the stolen panties the man was in possession of were the woman’s panties.

The Judges decision makes perfect sense, surprised it actually made it to court.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Panty hero doesn't know the difference between new and used, otherwise he isn't a panty hero.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Ota also pointed out that the woman did not notice that she was unable to find her panties until the police, ostensibly as part of an investigation into the thefts that had been taking place in the neighborhood, asked her if any of her underwear had been stolen, as opposed to noticing the disappearance herself on the day prosecutors claimed the crime took place. 

I doubt any woman would immediately call the police if they were missing a pair of underwear. Most would think it had blown away or they misplaced it somehow.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This case just emboldened panty thieves all over Japan.

Still, 2 years in prison is an incredibly long time for stealing a pair of panties.

Petty theft or petty larceny typically gives you a fine or with some states, at most 45 days in prison. I used to think the American system was tough and wanted to keep people in prison. 2 years is a really long time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Doesn't say what he did with the panties. Did he wear them. Did he have panty parties like Tupperware parties. Did he have a panty swap shop going on.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ha-ha. I'd better not get my panties in a bunch. :‑)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Praise for a clear thinking judge - a rarity in these parts. No doubt the perp will reoffend and get caught with the goods.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The guy admitted to going on to multiple balconies and steaming underwear. So, who cares if the ones he stole had no special characteristics? They were women's underwear, and they were found in his possession. This is just another case of releasing a potential sex offender back into the public. Unbelievable.

The question placed to the court is whether Defendant stole a particular pair of panties on a particular date - that is, a specific Act. They can't prove the specific act, and the fact he might have stolen panties on another date makes them other acts, and thus are of no importance in the context of the current trial.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Guilt or innocence could have easily been established by the judge sniffing the panties and then the woman to see if the scents matched. Sherlock Holmes could have told you that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wow, the one in a thousand judge who is able to apply the rules of logic. Good that it was a victimless crime, to boot.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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