Judo champ Uchishiba sentenced for rape

Feb. 1, 2013 at 12:27 AM
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TOKYO, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- A Tokyo court sentenced Japanese Olympics judo gold medalist Masato Uchishiba to five years in prison Friday in the 2011 rape of a female judo club student.

The district court ruled the 34-year-old two-time Olympics judo champion, who coached the women's judo club at Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare, raped the student as she slept in a Tokyo hotel after drinking with other club members, Kyodo News reported.

Judge Tomonao Onizawa said the court could not accept the gold medalist's defense that the act was consensual, the report said. The judge went with the victim's account, saying she was intoxicated prior to the incident and could not stand without support.

"It was impossible for the victim to do something on her own initiative," the judge said, Kyodo reported. He said the victim also had consulted other club members just after the incident and took leave from the university due to depression.

"The accused trampled over the victim's feelings despite being in a position to lead Japanese judo in the future," the judge said.

Uchishiba won the gold medal in the 66-kilogram class at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and began coaching in April 2010, the report said.

He was arrested in December 2011 after the rape allegation and barred from all judo activities by the All Japan Judo Federation in January 2012, Kyodo said.

Uchishiba is expected to appeal the ruling, the report said.

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