Not home-invasion groping her in the first place seems like it would have been the nicer thing to do.

On September 1, an idol singer was attacked while returning to her condominium in Tokyo. As she was about to enter her home, an assailant came up from behind and pushed her through the doorway and into the entryway. He then pulled her to the ground, gagged her with a towel, and groped her, inflicting physical injuries that took one week to heal.

The man, a then-26-year-old obsessed fan named Hibiki Sato, was taken into custody by the police, who learned that he lived in Saitama City, some 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) from the victim’s home in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward. Since dangerous fans are a major safety concern for idol singers in Japan, most performers and their talent agencies keep their home addresses a tightly guarded secret, but Sato said he’d been able to determine where his target lived by looking at selfies she’d posted on social media, specifically by looking at the reflection in her eyes of the surrounding scenery in outdoor shots. From that he was able to discern which station she commuted from, and with that knowledge he lay in wait on the night of the attack until he spotted the idol, then followed her home.

Sato’s conviction was a foregone conclusion, and on Wednesday both the prosecution and defense made their final pre-sentencing statements to presiding judge Goichi Nishino in Tokyo district court. The prosecution is seeking a prison sentence of five years, saying that Sato’s actions “are beyond the boundaries of what is acceptable fan behavior.” The defense, meanwhile, is requesting that Sato be punished with probation, but no jail time.

Sato himself also spoke at the hearing, saying “My actions in this incident have damaged [the victim’s] idol activities, of course, and also her daily way of life. I would like to do everything I can for the victim.”

Ordinarily, an offer to provide any assistance or comfort possible to the victim of a violent crime would be a compassionate gesture, but it’s a little less admirable when the one making the offer is the person who committed the crime, and especially so when the crime involves respecting neither the sanctity of the victim’s body or home. As such, it seems unlikely that Sato’s words will earn him any extra clemency from Nishino, who is scheduled to hand down his sentence on February 26.

In the meantime, remember to think carefully about what you post on social media, whether it’s a picture of your eyes or a delicious crab dinner you found lying on the street.

Source: Rakuten Infoseek News via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
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