Charges cause many to wonder where the line between stalking and a secret crush lies.

Police in Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture, arrested a 25-year-old man on charges of violating the Anti-Stalking Control Law. He is said to have taken numerous pictures of a female coworker without her knowing using his smartphone camera.

The incident was uncovered in October of last year when a man doing some weeding in an area of thick grass stumbled across a plastic box containing several items including a USB memory stick. On the stick were over 100 images of a 24-year-old woman that appeared to have been taken without her knowing.

Police managed to trace the images back to the suspect who had secretly taken the photos of a coworker with whom he was infatuated while she was in and around their workplace. The man reportedly admitted to the charges saying, “I took the pictures because I liked her but I couldn’t bring myself to speak to her.”

Reaction to the news online sided largely with the suspect. Many felt that he was simply a shy person suffering from a case of unrequited love rather than a threat to anyone’s safety.

“You can get arrested for only that? Shocked.”
“I sympathize with him.”
“While it certainly is unpleasant to photograph someone without them knowing, does it really fall under the anti-stalking law?”
“This makes me furious. They regulate smartphone cameras like they were guns.”
“I know how he feels… that’s a terrible story.”
“The man who picked up the memory stick seems more suspicious. Why did he snoop around like that?”
“We live in an age where being shy is an arrestable offense.”
“That’s scary. So anytime I take pictures in public places where there are other people I can be arrested for it?”
“His motive seemed more cute than malicious.”

The investigation is still ongoing and police are looking into whether or not similar incidents involving other women exist. They also have yet to interview the woman whom he had photographed.

Perhaps the best lesson for men in this situation is to not become a victim of your own shyness if not only to avoid potential criminal charges, but to just know where you stand with the object of your desires and whether or not you’d be better off moving on with your life.

Our own writer Seiji Nakazawa is a good example of this. Although timid by nature, he never misses the opportunity to put himself out there and let women know how he feels.

Sure, he’s been shot down countless times, is still single, and has an ego more bruised an battered than Billy Batts after telling Tommy to go and get his shinebox, but he’s better off for it… At least we think he is.

I mean, he hasn’t been arrested yet, so he’s got that going for him.

Source: Tokai TV, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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