Woman claims Christian cult leader raped her for years

Mainichi Shimbun/April 11, 2005

Kyoto -- A former follower of the Seishin Chuo Kyokai said cult leader Tamotsu Kin raped her repeatedly over a period of several years, police said.

The woman said Kin's sex attacks persisted for over a decade. "He started when I was about 20 and continued to sexually assault me for about 10 years," police quoted the woman as saying.

A group calling itself victims of the Christian cult claims that sexual assaults and rape were common occurrences within the church for the past 14 years.

Police said Kin, 61, who also used the surname of Nagata, initially targeted adult women followers, but later turned his attention toward largely little girls in the church because they were less likely to revolt against him.

Kin is currently charged with raping a 12-year-old girl who belonged to his cult. He denies the allegations.

Police said the victim had first contacted them about the reverend late last year. She claims the sex assaults continued over a long period of time.

Police said every time Kin would rape the woman, he would tell her the sex attacks were religious ceremonies such as "benediction."

When the victim was a little girl, Kin would ensure the attack occurred in a situation that would make it very difficult for his prey to defy him or seek help from others such as her parents, police said.

The woman claiming to have been raped by Kin said she once asked another female follower what she needed to do to avoid the reverend's unwanted ministrations and the other follower responded by offering up herself to the cult leader instead.

In a related development, police said that top members of the Christian cult actively covered up Kin's sex attacks on little girls.

Police said that cult heavies would stand around as they forced little girls to sign memorandums stating that Kin had never assaulted them. Some of the little girls were crying as they were forced to sign the forms, investigators said.

Police fear the Seishin Chuo Kyokai actively worked as an organization to conceal Kin's sex attacks.

Police said that Yumie Kumagai, 38, a cultist arrested for assault, was one of several church leaders who forced one of Kin's little girl victims to write a memorandum saying that she had not been sexually assaulted by the reverend. Kumagai and other church heavies stood around the girl and watched over her as she wrote.

Police said Kumagai punched a little girl who asked Kin why he was raping her. Kumagai told the girl it was a religious act and she should do as she was told, police said. Investigators believe the church leaders forced the little girls to write the memorandums to cover up what Kin was doing.

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