42-Year-Old Man Arrested for Stalking Former AKB48 Idol

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Suspect had allegedly been stalking, harassing Karen Iwata since 2013

Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested a 42-year-old male on June 19 for allegedly stalking and harassing 20-year-old actress, singer, and former AKB48 idol group member Karen Iwata.

The suspect, Edogawa ward resident Hidenobu Ōnishi, wrote in his deposition that, "[the allegations written in] the arrest warrant has parts that are true, and parts that are not true."

According to the police, Ōnishi had been a "fan" of Iwata since 2012, the year after she debuted as part of the main AKB48 idol group. At a handshake event in 2013, the suspect allegedly proposed to Iwata, who then declined. The idol group's staff then took steps to distance the two. After the incident, the suspect allegedly wrote threats to Iwata and her family, and repeatedly attended events where Iwata as present.

Iwata alerted police to the suspect's actions. The police supposedly sent numerous oral and written warnings to the suspect. However, the suspect continued to attend events, and was arrested due to alleged stalking activity.

Iwata debuted in the AKB48 idol group as a trainee in 2011, and graduated from the group in 2016. She voiced the character Nagisa Motomiya in the AKB0048 anime based on the idol group. She also acted in the 2017 stage play adaptation of Kia Asamiya's Silent Möbius manga. Iwata also played the character Seiko Matano in the live-action series and film adaptations of the Saki Achiga-hen episode of side-A manga.

Source: Keisan News via Otakomu (Photo from Karen Iwata's Twitter account)

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