Internet chats lead to illegal rendezvous.

According to the Hyogo Prefectural Police, last August a woman from Oita City, several prefectures to the west, traveled to Kobe, Hyogo’s prefectural capital. While in the city, she rendezvoused with a local guy whom she’d met online and been chatting with.

The two made their way to a hotel, but this wasn’t a case of two consenting grown-ups taking their online relationship to a physical level. Only the woman, an office worker in her 20s, is a legal adult. Meanwhile, the local she’d gone to the hotel with was a junior high school boy, who was just 14 years old at the time.

It’s not known if the woman was aware of the boy’s young age when they’d been chatting online, but her failure to abort the hotel trip after meeting in-person has landed her in trouble with the law, as last month she was arrested on charges of engaging in “lewd behavior” with the minor during their hotel stay. Investigators say there was also an incident which took place in January of this year in which the boy briefly ran away from home, leaving a note for his parents that he was leaving so that he could be together with the woman, although whether this was at her invitation, as well as whether or not they did in fact meet up with each other, hasn’t been reported.

On Monday, the judge presiding over the summary court case ruled that the woman had violated Hyogo’s Prefectural Youth Protection Ordinance. However, she faces no jail time, and has instead been ordered to pay a fine of 500,000 yen (US$4,500), making this the second example in recent memory of things that oddly enough apparently aren’t guaranteed to land you in prison.

Source: Kobe Shimbun Next via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso
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