20 years in prison! Defendant sexually assaults hostage woman in ‘bad argument’
≪On June 20, the Saitama District Court handed down the verdict in a jury trial against a man who held a clerk hostage at an Internet cafe in Saitama City last June. Judge Kazuo Sasaki, presiding over the trial, ruled that “this is an extremely serious case with a level of maliciousness that is unprecedented among similar cases,” and sentenced Kazutaka Hayashi, 41, to 20 years in prison, as the prosecution had demanded.
On July 18, an article detailing the details of the trial was published on FRIDAY Digital, and some readers who read Hayashi’s incomprehensible argument cited the case of the shooting of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and commented on social media, “I think he is even more dangerous than Tetsuya Yamagami. Yuki Takahashi, who has covered the trial at the Saitama District Court in detail, recounts the following
The trial has been held at the Saitama District Court (Judge Kazuo Sasaki presiding) since July 6. On the 12th of the same month, argument was held, and the prosecutor asked for 20 years in prison for the man. It was revealed at the trial that the man had not only locked himself up, but had also sexually assaulted the hostage multiple times.
He had a knife “as stationery for packing…”
The accused, Kazutaka Hayashi, 41, entered an Internet cafe in Omiya Ward, Saitama City, on June 17, 2011. At around 2:20 p.m., he called a female waitress into his private room.
She said, “The TV’s not on, so can I ask you to watch it?”
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, the defendant Hayashi admitted to the charges of arrest and confinement and forcible sexual intercourse, saying, “The part about confinement is correct, but the rest is a mistake. 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 August 8, 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 he ever threaten you?”
Defendant: “No, I did not. Can I have intercourse?” I asked. If I had said no, I wouldn’t have done it, but he shook his 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, but in talking to …… well …… the person himself, I did think of him as a low-walled person.”
The defendant claims that he himself gave permission before intercourse, and that the female waitress complied, so he went through with it. The female waitress further 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, …… premise is that you didn’t run away when you tried to strangle yourself to death in the private room. He was worried about me, saying, ‘Are you all right? Then, during the first intercom interaction from the police, when I was in a bit of a bad mood, they told me to ‘calm down,’ …… and I felt like that too.”
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, rather than reading… …I thought that you were not going to run away, that you were going to stay with me, that’s what I thought.”
Prosecutor, “Isn’t that your inner thought that you are open to intercourse?”
Defendant, “That’s your idea, 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 man 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 it.”
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 smart phone. It is not easy to have a good social life when you have been in prison several times. They didn’t even make 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, “They 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.
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.