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,'”