Stalker sexually assaults Japanese pop star after tracking her down

Cheryl Sanders
October 11, 2019

A man in Tokyo allegedly assaulted a pop star after tracking her down through her Instagram selfies, police say.

According to media reports, a member of the J-pop group Tenshitsukinukeniyomi was sexually assaulted at her Tokyo apartment building last month after a fan figured out where to find her by zooming in on a selfie the singer had posted.

The 26-year-old waited at the station and followed her home when he spotted her, the police revealed.

Sato, who was arrested on Tuesday, allegedly attacked the woman as she entered her building on September 1. On reaching her house, he allegedly molested her by approaching her from behind and placing a cloth over her mouth.

By zooming into the image of her eye and with the help of Google Street View, he was able to discern the name of the station where she commuted from.

Shuichiro Hoshi, a professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University and expert on the risks of social media, told the Tokyo Reporter that improved picture quality on smartphone cameras had increased the risk of private information "being leaked unexpectedly".

Japanese media reports said the woman, whose identity was not disclosed, is a "pop idol". Admitting he was an obsessive fan ("sasaeng" in Japanese), he explained how he had tracked her down using the photo.

"In other words, the risk of a so-called "digital stalker" is on the rise", he said.

The 27-year-old assailant told police he lost his temper with the singer because she returned a watch he had previously sent her.

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