Public prosecutors in Japan this week said they were seeking a five-year prison sentence for Masato Uchishiba, a former Olympic judo gold medalist, who is currently on trial for raping one of his teenage students. The 34 year old claims the sex was consensual, but has been charged with assaulting and raping a member of the college judo team he coached last year when she passed out drunk in a hotel room.
While the trail began this September, a verdict is expect early next month. The victim has not been identified because of her age at the time of the incident, which took place in September 2011. Uchishiba’s team was attending a training camp in Tokyo, and after the girl passed out a party at a karaoke parlor, the two returned to a hotel room. Prosecutors say she woke up and became aware of what was happening, but Uchishiba then turned up the volume on the television and used his hand to cover her mouth. In earlier testimony, the married judo champion stated the girl was awake and there were no requests from her to stop.
Uchishiba won gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in the 66 kilogram (145 pounds) judo division. While he was celebrated at the time for becoming the first Japanese athlete to win a gold medal in any sport at the 2008 Beijing Games, he retired from competing and began coaching. He was working with the Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare since April 2010, coaching the women’s judo team, but was promptly fired after the rape accusations.
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