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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

American Teacher Arrested For Voyeurism At Elementary School

My pal Vince sent me a link from the Asahi news digital edition yesterday afternoon with what he called a 'disturbing' article.

It certainly is.

It's written in Japanese, and neither he nor I can read it well enough - me, not at all - but he did send along an English translation, of a sorts.

The story involves a foreign teacher - an American young man - who has been arrested on charges of  planting a camera in an elementary school girl's locker room.

I'm going to present the original Japanese language story and then, a version of the story as churned out by one of the 12 Japanese-English free translation I used to see if I could get a better story than what Vince originally sent me.

I did... but it took a lot of work... and I will see if I can piece it together for those of us who lack the Japanese language abilities.

I do want to state straight off that the alleged peeping Tom claims his innocence, and that as far as the story goes, what you see is what we get.

From the Asahi Digital news edition HERE:

勤務先の小学校の児童用更衣室に侵入し、盗撮をしたとして、宮城県警加美署は15日、宮城県加美町大門、米国籍の外国語指導助手コーザ・ステファン・ジュリアン容疑者(26)を建造物侵入と軽犯罪法違反の疑いで逮捕した、と発表した。コーザ容疑者は「自分はやっていない」と話し、容疑を否認しているという。  加美署によると、コーザ容疑者は今年3月から6月までの間に、勤務先である加美町内の小学校の女子児童用更衣室に侵入。デジタルカメラを設置して盗撮した疑いがある。

Now, here's an English translation - which is admitedly pretty damn sucky... but it is done by an electronic translator rather than a human one, so... well... okay, here it is:

Assuming that it invaded the changing room for the child of the small school ahead working, did the stealing Miyagi prefectural police Kami station on the 15th, Miyagi prefecture Kami Cho Omon, foreign language guidance assistant koza Stefan jiyurian suspect of the American register (26) building invasion arrested in doubt of misdemeanor method violation, that it announced. You say that koza suspect says, by his, denies suspicion. According to Kami station, koza suspect, invades the changing room for the woman child of the small school inside Kami Cho which is ahead working from the March this year between to June. Installing the digital camera, stealing there is the doubt . According to Kami Cho board of education, on June 19th the child discovering the camera with the rocker of the changing room. At the point where the Kami station which receives the damage report of building invasion suspicion from the small school investigated, on the 14th the suspect in the principal it is the camera which I lose, that and so on you say that you were identified and came out. koza suspect assumed a new post to this small school in 2009 August, taught English to 5 and 6th grade. As for town board of education very regrettable. We would like to think of CARE of heart of the children, that it has done.

Okay... you read that and think - WTF?

The gist is there.

From what I can gather - because I used 12 different translations, is that we have 26-year-old American Stefan Julian Costa (also Coe and Kosta and Kosar were variations of the surname), an assistant language teacher arrested by the Miyagi-ken police's Kami Station.

I should state that I am unsure about the suspect's name. I have seen it spelled at least four different ways.

He was arrested, according to the police, on July 15, 2014 for having placed a digital camera in a girl's locker/change room at an elementary school in Kamicho where he allegedly worked sometime between March and July of this year.

According to the Kamicho Board of Education, one of the students found the camera in a locker in the room back on June 19, 2014.

According to what I can figure out, it was only after the police were called in to investigate the hidden camera that on July 14, 2014, the suspect told the school's principal that though the camera was his, he had lost it earlier.

The suspect had been working at the school since August of 2009, teaching English to grade 5 and 6 classes.

The police says the suspect didn't do it' and denies the charges of 'breaking and entering' and the Minor Offence Act leveled against him.

I'm unsure if that Minor Offence Act stuff is correct, though. From what I can tell, other translations say that he was arrested on suspicion of trespassing and misdemeanor violation(s).

Translations also say the police were originally called in because the school feared it had been broken in to. 

Apparently the town Board of Education finds the whole situation 'regrettable' and is concerned about the children's mental health regarding the whole situation.


Several things here:
  1. the Board of Education seems to believe that the young man is guilty as charged.  
  2. the suspect has been arrested and charged.
  3. the suspect claims his innocence - which one would expect.
  4. he says he had thought the camera lost - though I suspect fingerprints would be damning evidence of someone's guilt or innocence.
  5. the camera was found on June 19 - but apparently the suspect says nearly one month later on July 14 that his camera was lost... 
  6. it is possible that he did lose his camera or it was stolen, and someone else set it up in the locker. 
  7. a search of the suspect's computer will prove his guilt or innocence - as his search patterns will provide a clue. 
  8. what took so long from the time the camera was found to the confession? Well, it's possible the school did not tell anyone... or they only told the Japanese teachers fearing what the foreigner might think... and that it's only when the police became involved and the camera finally revealed, the the suspect realized it was his camera.
  9. the suspect could be telling the truth
  10. the camera could have been planted by another teacher for his own sexual purposes
  11. the camera could have been planted by another teacher to get revenge on the foreign teacher for some indiscretion.
  12. or it is possible the guy is guilty as sin.
Should anyone be able to read the Japanese story and be able to provide a clean translation - it would be much appreciated.

No mention of the JET (Japan Exchange & Teaching) Programme was mentioned.

Andrew Joseph

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