Was she preying on a minor?

Age difference might not matter much in romance between adults, as successful relationships can blossom even with a gap of 27 years, but things can head south real quick when one side is below 18 years old.

On 24 December, a 26-year old woman was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping a 16-year old high school boy in Hyogo Prefecture, but has claimed that she merely invited him to her apartment.

Their relationship had been going on for some time as the boy’s mother had furiously lodged a police report and a complaint to his school earlier in September this year, describing the woman as repeatedly calling their home hoping to lure him into her house. The student had confirmed at that time that nothing sexual occurred between the two of them.

▼ He also promised not to go to her house without express permission from his parents.

But things took a sudden turn when the minor approached the woman one day, saying he was cutting ties with his family. He then stayed in her apartment from 22 December 4 p.m. to 23 December 4:50 a.m., which alarmed his mother and led to the woman’s arrest for suspected kidnapping.

“I let him in since he told me he was having problems. There was no involuntary confinement at all,” she reportedly said.

▼ She was immediately released the next day.

According to website Livedoor News, the 26-year-old is a single mother of two whose dream was to enter the entertainment industry. Japanese netizens took to the Internet to voice their conflicting opinions:

“Of course it’s forbidden. What did she think would happen?”
“I think the dude was just looking for sex, but the woman was looking for love.”
“Did she think she was safe just because she’s a woman?”
“Both of them need to conduct themselves better.”
“That isn’t kidnapping at all.”

Although other underage-related offences are easier to prove and identify, this case is much more ambiguous as no illegal confinement or sexual contact was ever confirmed. Nevertheless, it just goes to show that adults should be adults and never mess around with minors.

Source: Kobe Shimbun, Livedoor News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)