Journalist Shiori Ito Wins Damages Over Rape Case

Journalist Shiori Ito wins damages over rape case

A Japanese court has ordered a former television correspondent to pay damages worth 3.3 million yen, or about 30,000 dollars, to a journalist over a rape case.

Journalist Shiori Ito sued Noriyuki Yamaguchi, a former reporter of Tokyo Broadcasting System Television, or TBS, demanding about 100,000 dollars in compensation. Ito said she was raped by Yamaguchi in 2015 after getting drunk at a dinner with him and falling unconscious.

Ito revealed details of her case in news conferences and in a published book. Yamaguchi argued that the act was consensual and counter-sued her for about 1.2 million dollars for damaging his reputation and invading his privacy.

Presiding Judge at the Tokyo District Court Akihiro Suzuki handed down the ruling on Wednesday. He said Ito consulted with police and her friends which backs up her case that sex with the defendant was against her will.

Suzuki dismissed Yamaguchi's claim of having consensual sex saying his statements raised serious doubts about their credibility. The judge said they contradicted emails he sent at the time and a crucial part of the statement underwent unreasonable changes.

Suzuki also dismissed Yamaguchi's damages claim, noting that Ito's disclosure of her case was made to try to change current situations surrounding sexual crime victims. He said that it serves public interest.

Earlier, Ito lodged a complaint with police about the case. But prosecutors dropped the case.

After the ruling Ito spoke to reporters in tears saying that winning the case does not nullify the injuries she suffered. She said thanks to the civil suit, she was able to make public what happened to her and reveal other pieces of evidence. She added that she hopes her case will help improve Japan's system to relieve the pain of as many similar victims as possible.

TBS said in a statement that the case is highly regrettable, because the defendant was its employee at the time.