WARNING: The following report contains details that some readers may find distressing.
Shillong, Apr 19: Sho Kamimura (pictured above right), a Japanese footballer who played for Shillong Lajong FC in the I-League 2012-13 season, has been convicted on a rape charge in his home country for a crime committed less than a year after he left the Meghalaya club.
TSR found out about Kamimura’s conviction after conducting research for a proposed feature on what past Lajong players have done since leaving the team.
A search online for his name brings up a Japan Times news item from 2015 reporting Kamimura’s arrest after the former professional footballer was suspected of intruding into a woman’s flat and raping her.
The crime occurred in March 2014 when Kamimura broke into the woman’s home after midnight, struck her in the face and threatened to kill her. Other news sites say the footballer had tied up the university student and blindfolded her before the rape.
He was arrested the following year based on security camera footage “and other information”. He was also suspected to have committed similar offences over the preceding years, dating back to before he joined Lajong.
Kamimura was a mid-season signing for SLFC, who brought in the Japanese footballer in January 2013. He scored a brace in his first match in Shillong against Air India and played in all the other eight remaining games of the season (which ended in May), but didn’t pick up any more goals.
The forward also played for Mito Hollyhock and Machida Zelvia in Japan as well as a club based in Singapore. He retired from professional football in 2014, according to Japan Times, and was an employee at a medical corporation at the time of his arrest.
The Japan Times website does not have a follow-up article on Kamimura’s conviction, but there are Japanese and Chinese language articles that do cover this.
Websites carrying news of the conviction, as well as other lurid details, state that Kamimura was sentenced in December 2016 to 30 years in prison.
None of these sites say whether the conviction was appealed, but as Kamimura reportedly confessed and given the nature of the Japanese legal system, the success of any appeal would seem unlikely.
(Shillong Lajong file photo)