Lucie Blackman case man charged over rape

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The Independent Online

A Japanese businessman being questioned about the disappearance of British bar hostess Lucie Blackman has been charged with drugging and raping a Western woman, Canadian officials said yesterday.

A Japanese businessman being questioned about the disappearance of British bar hostess Lucie Blackman has been charged with drugging and raping a Western woman, Canadian officials said yesterday.

Joji Obara, 48, was charged on Friday with raping a 23-year-old Canadian, who worked as a bar hostess in Tokyo's Roppongi night-life district, a spokesman from the Canadian foreign office said.

He was arrested on 12 October following a complaint by the woman that she was raped after being plied with alcohol mixed with sleeping drugs on 31 March, 1996.

The company executive was being questioned in connection with the disappearance of Miss Blackman and several other rapes of young blonde foreign women, the spokesman said. Miss Blackman went missing on 1 July.

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