Man Arrested for Holding Female Clerk Hostage, Claims He Sexually Assaulted Her ‘With Consent” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Man Arrested for Holding Female Clerk Hostage, Claims He Sexually Assaulted Her ‘With Consent”

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Saitama Prefectural Police officers take custody of a man who was holed up in an Internet cafe in Saitama City before 11 p.m. on June 18, and moved him to an investigation vehicle (Photo: Jiji Press)On July 6, the Saitama District Court (Judge Kazuo Sasaki presiding) began a jury trial against a man who held a clerk hostage at an Internet cafe in Saitama City last June. On July 12, the prosecution argued the case and asked for 20 years in prison. It was revealed at the trial that the man had not only held the victim hostage, but had also sexually assaulted the hostage multiple times.


He had a knife “as stationery for packing.”

The defendant, Kazutaka Hayashi, 41, entered an Internet cafe in Omiya Ward, Saitama City, on June 17. At around 2:20 p.m., he called a female waitress into his private room.

She said, “Do you want me to turn the TV on for you?”

In response, Hayashi strangled the female clerk from behind and held a box cutter knife to her neck, confining her for approximately 32 hours. At his arraignment on April 6, he admitted that he had committed the arrest and confinement, but denied the charge of forcible sexual intercourse. The defense also claimed that “the victim consented” to the sexual assault.


During questioning of the defendant on the 8th, Hayashi testified that he did not threaten the female waitress and that she consented to the sexual assault. In court, Hayashi was wearing a top and bottom jersey and a shaved head. His mask obscured his mouth, but his eyes were sharp as he looked around the auditorium and he appeared to have an imposing demeanor.

During the standoff, Hayashi reportedly strangled a female clerk from behind when she entered a private room to check on a television set. He then tied both thumbs of the female waitress with a bandage and tied another bandage around her neck. Later, they engaged in sexual intercourse, as described by the defendant himself.

Defense counsel: “Did you ever threaten her?”

Defendant: “No, I did not. ‘Can I have sex with you?’ I asked. If she had said no, I wouldn’t have done it, but she nodded her head, so I thought, well, it’s okay.”

Defense counsel: “Did you not think that because you were in confinement, you had no choice but to take that attitude?”

Defendant “I didn’t think of it at the time, I did think of her as a low-walled person.”

The defendant claims that he himself gave permission before intercourse and that the female waitress complied, which is why he reached out to her. The female waitress also testified that the defendant held a box cutter knife at her, which the defendant also denied.

“I never pointed a knife at the victim. But once, I heard a noise coming from the ceiling, and the police sensed that it might be coming from the ventilation hole (in the ceiling), so I pointed the cutter knife that way.”

As to why he had brought a box cutter knife to the Internet cafe in the first place, he said, “I do Mercari as a hobby and use it as stationery for packing” (defendant’s testimony), and that he always had it with him when packing items for shipment on Mercari.

The prosecutor pursues the defendant’s incomprehensible claim that he just happened to have a cutter knife and that he had sexual intercourse with the female clerk because she agreed to it.

The prosecutor said, “You met the victim for the first time. Why did you think she would agree to sexual intercourse with you if you had never met her?”

Defendant: “Well, the premise is that you did not run away when you tried to strangle yourself to death in the private room. She was worried about me, saying, ‘Are you all right?’ Then, during the first interaction with the police, when I was in a bit of a bad mood, they told me to ‘calm down,'”

The building of the Internet cafe where the man held the female waitress hostage on June 18 last year in Saitama City (center) and the assembled press (photo: Kyodo News).The defendant states that his feelings were aroused as he spent time in a private room with the female clerk. Another prosecutor asked him more questions, sometimes provocatively, but he insisted that the female waitress had agreed to his request for sexual intercourse.

The prosecutor asked, “What did you read into the victim’s mind when she said she was worried about you and didn’t run away when you tried to kill yourself?”

Defendant “Well, I’m not someone who can read people’s minds, but, well, it’s not so much reading, I thought that she had no intention of running away, equal, we can be together, that’s how I felt.”

Prosecutor, “Isn’t that your inner thought that you are open to intercourse?”

Defendant, “I don’t think so.”


The “substance” of the complaint against society

At the time of the incident, there were two female clerks and one male clerk in the store. The defendant then approached the female clerk who was the victim in this case. During the interrogation at the time of his arrest, he made a statement as if he was targeting the female clerk, saying that he had met the woman of his dreams whom he had been searching for a long time, but he continued to deny that he had said that at all on that day. He then went on to say, “I didn’t do it for sexual purposes, but because I wanted to complain to society about my past experience of being in prison.”

“I was arrested for my first offense and released from prison. I tried to work diligently, but when the police found out that I had a criminal record, they forced me to stand in front of them and held me for questioning. I also want to express my dissatisfaction that I will not be able to return to society once I go to jail. You want to make your point? While you were holed up? I thought it would be refreshing if I could say that.”

It seems that he wanted his claim to be conveyed through the media while he was holed up. He continues to talk about the pain he was going through at the time during this trial.

“I was looking for a job after I got out of prison, like at Hello Work. But if I didn’t have an ID or had just been released from prison, it was difficult to get a job. When I tried to get my number card made, I was turned down because they said I needed an ID card to make an ID. The company in general told me that they could not hire me without an ID or a smartphone. It is not easy to have a good social life when you have been in prison several times. They didn’t even give me an ID card. I wanted to say that if you are in one for a long time, you can’t live a normal life.”


By the way, his testimony regarding intercourse differed greatly from that of the female clerk. The defendant stated that she asked if she could do it, but the female clerk stated, “He pulled me into a private room, strangled me, knocked me down, and immediately had sexual intercourse with me.” She testified that she was then threatened with a cutter and forced to have oral intercourse. When asked by the presiding judge about this discrepancy, the defendant replied, “She is mistaken! I deny it unequivocally,” and stated that his side of the story was correct.

While complaining about the current difficult situation of reemployment for those released from prison, the defendant stated that he had consensual sexual intercourse with the female clerk. The verdict will be handed down on the 20th.

Police officers stand guard in front of a building that houses an Internet cafe in Saitama City, where a man held a female waitress hostage last June (Photo: Kyodo News)
Firefighters enter and leave the building where the Internet cafe where the man held a female waitress hostage is located (Photo: Kyodo News)
  • Interview and text by Yuki Takahashi

    Bystander. Freelance writer. Author of "Tsukebi no Mura: Did a Rumor Kill Five People?" (Shobunsha), "Runaway Senior Citizen, Crime Theater" (Yoizensha Shinsho), "Kanae Kijima, Dangerous Love" (Tokuma Shoten), "Kanae Kijima Theater" (Takarajimasha), and many other books based on interviews and trial hearings of murder cases, including the older "Kasumikko Club: Daughters' Trial Hearing Diary" (Shinchosha). Confessions of Escaped Criminals" (Shogakukan) was newly published.

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