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Police sergeant in Japan arrested on suspicion of attempted sexual assault

Saitama Prefectural Police headquarters (Mainichi/Takuya Suzuki)

SAITAMA -- Saitama Prefectural Police in east Japan arrested a male sergeant on April 7 on suspicion of attempting to sexually assault a woman he knew through his work.

    The prefectural police's first investigation division arrested Takahide Ikeda, 33, a sergeant at Hanyu Police Station's community affairs division who lives in the city of Hanyu.

    Ikeda allegedly attempted to touch the body of the woman in her 20s, who lives in the same prefecture, in a car at a parking lot of a commercial facility in the city at just after 1 p.m. on April 4. He was off-duty that day. He has apparently denied the allegation, and was quoted as saying, "It's wrong. I won't talk now."

    According to the prefectural police, Ikeda knew the woman through his work at a police substation, and called her to the parking lot after intimidating her during a cellphone discussion. The woman called police just after 2 p.m., saying, "I've been threatened by a man at a parking lot." Ikeda's involvement emerged from security camera footage. The prefectural police are investigating how he knew the woman's contact information.

    Saitama Prefectural Police's chief inspector Osamu Ogino issued a statement saying, "We regret very much that an employee was arrested. We will respond strictly once the investigation results are known."

    (Japanese original by Hayato Narisawa, Saitama Bureau)

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