The Tokyo District Court found former two-time Olympic gold medal judo winner Masato Uchishiba guilty of rape on Friday and sentenced him to five years in prison. The 34 year old pleaded not guilty to the charges of raping a female college student in September 2011, claiming the sex was consensual, but prosecutors were seeking a five-year minimum sentence based on the fact that the girl was drunk and passed out at the time.
The incident took place in a Tokyo hotel when the college judo team that Uchishiba was coaching attended a training camp. The victim apparently got drunk with several other members while at a party at a karaoke parlor, but woke up in her room later to find Uchishiba sexually assaulting her. When she tried to resist, the coach turned up the television volume and covered her mouth with his hand. Uchishiba has maintained that the girl never made any requests to stop, but prosecutors say there is no doubt it was rape seeing as how intoxicated she was and her inability to maintain consciousness. In handing down the ruling, presiding judge Tomonao Onizawa said it was impossible to trust such a claim that the sex was consensual.
Uchishiba was working as the coach for the women’s judo team at Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare, but was promptly fired after the accusations of rape were made. The former judo champion won gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics in the 66 kilogram (145 pounds) division, and was celebrated in Japan for becoming the nation’s first athlete to win a gold medal in any sport at the Beijing Games.
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