The Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court has overturned the conviction of a 30-year-old teacher who was found guilty three years ago of groping a 17-year-old girl on a bus in the Mitaka area.
The defendant, Masayoshi Tsuyama, was charged with molesting the high school girl on the bus by touching her buttocks, TBS reported Wednesday. At his trial, Tsuyama was found guilt and fined 400,000 yen.
However, Tsuyama appealed the verdict, claiming that although his hand might have made contact with the girl's backpack, he definitely did not grab or touch her buttocks. The court based its verdict on the victim's testimony that she felt the palm of Tsuyama's hand touch her buttocks.
During the appeal, on-board footage from the bus's security camera was brought forth as evidence. The footage confirmed that Tsuyama's left hand had been holding the strap, and that his right hand was occupied with a mobile phone at the time of the alleged incident, TBS reported.
In overturning the conviction, the presiding judge said: "Seeing as the victim's testimony is inconsistent with what the security camera footage shows, I believe that the previous ruling was made with little to no rationale."
Following the verdict, Tsuyama told reporters, "Almost anyone could find themselves caught up in such a misunderstanding. Although there was no real case, that girl genuinely believed she had been sexually assaulted, and her feelings are real, which I believe makes her a victim of sorts. It must be difficult to believe that such a thing has happened to you, so I do feel for her. When I finally heard the judge's ruling, I was so relieved."© Japan Today