Hirofumi Arai Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Sexual Assault Charge

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Term reduced from earlier 5-year sentence handed down in December

The Tokyo High Court sentenced actor Hirofumi Arai to four years in prison on Tuesday, reducing the court's initial five-year sentence handed down in December of last year. The court explained that it reduced the sentence due to the actor paying a settlement of 3 million yen (about US$29,000) to the victim after the first sentence was handed down. The presiding judge added that the court "did not err" in its first sentence.

Arai was indicted in February 2019 on a charge of sexually assaulting a masseuse at his home. Police had arrested Arai earlier that month due to allegations of sexual assault involving rape. According to the investigation, Arai sexually assaulted a woman in her 30s at about 2:30 a.m. in July 2018 after she came to his apartment to give him a massage.

Following Arai's arrest, Nikkatsu cancelled the release of Zenaku no Kuzu, the live-action film adaptation of Daisuke Watanabe's Gedō no Uta (The Villain's Song) manga, which Arai was slated to star in. Arai's talent agency terminated his exclusive contract shortly after his arrest. Additionally, BS Fuji suspended the scheduled broadcast of the irregular television program Utsukushiki Sakenomi-tachi, which Arai hosted.

Arai was born in Aomori Prefecture in 1979. He made his acting debut in 2001 and appeared in works such as the Blood and Bones film and NHK's Taiga drama series Sanada Maru. He was nominated for the Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role award in 2016 for his performance in the film 100 Yen Love. Arai has also appeared in live-action films such as Gintama, Bakuman., and Space Brothers.

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Source: NHK via Hachima Kikō

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