Japan Slugger Yamakawa Referred To Prosecutors Over Rape Allegation

Supplied photo shows Seibu Lions infielder Hotaka Yamakawa. (Kyodo) 

World Baseball Classic winner Hotaka Yamakawa was referred to prosecutors Tuesday for allegedly raping a female acquaintance at a Tokyo hotel in November

The 31-year-old power-hitting infielder from the Seibu Lions was removed from the team on May 12, a day after weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported in its online edition that he had assaulted a woman in her 20s and that the woman had filed a criminal complaint.

In referring Yamakawa to prosecutors on suspicion of forcible sexual intercourse, police said they would leave the final decision on whether he should be indicted to the prosecutors.

Police have not disclosed whether Yamakawa, who has been questioned on a voluntary basis, has denied or admitted the allegation.


Hotaka Yamakawa

Yamakawa won his third home run tite last year, when he also led the Pacific League in RBIs for the first time.

The Pacific League’s Most Valuable Player in 2018, Yamakawa led Nippon Professional Baseball in home runs that year in his first full season.

He was a member of the 30-man Samurai Japan roster that won the country’s third WBC title in March.

A Seibu spokesperson said the team is working to confirm the facts and cannot comment at present.