James Blackston (pictured at left), a dancer from California who was arrested in Toyko for quasi-forcible indecency has been re-arrested and charged with a second case of quasi-forcible indecency in a separate incident. When I heard of the “re-arrest” yesterday it was unclear whether the arrest was a formality on the charge that occurred after the death of Nicola Furlong, whether it was an increase on that charge or if it was an entirely separate incident. The Irish Sun
is reporting that it is indeed a second incident which occurred on April 21st in a hotel in Kofu. A second source is reporting that Blackston had several pictures of the victim of the new charge on his cell phone. It is unclear at this time whether the second victim came forward after the media regarding the initial charge or if the police contacted the young woman based on the photos stored in Blackston’s phone. The latest victim is said to be a foreigner in her twenties, according to Japanese police. The police have not identified the new victim’s country of origin. The Japanese police report that the second victim was forced to drink large quantities of tequila before Blackston took her back to his hotel room. The Irish Sun
also reports that Blackston continues to deny all charges.
There is little information on Richard Hinds (pictured at right) who remains in Japanese custody, also on a quasi-forcible indecency charge, regarding his current arrest status with regard to the death of Nicola Furlong. Just over two weeks ago the family of Nicola Furlong was told that an arrest for the murder of Nicola was imminent. The toxicology reports that it was assumed the police were waiting for have not yet been made public. One of my commenters here, who claims to have inside knowledge of the case, claims that the toxicology report came back positive for drugs, but apparently not a date rape drug. I have no idea who the commenter is and cannot vouch for anonymous information. However, there has been speculation among some covering this story that the toxicology reports do not support the drugged theory the prosecution is building their case on. Hinds has confessed to Japanese police during interrogation that he pressed on her neck but did not intend to kill her.
The family of Nicola Furlong was also expecting a preliminary trial of sorts this week where formal charges would be brought against Hinds and that has so far failed to happen.
Thank you for being respectful in the comment section. Please be aware that friends and family of all sides of this matter are in either a state of grieving or disbelief. I think that all sides can agree that they want the truth to come out and justice to prevail, whatever that may be. Until we get more facts on this case, neither side can come to terms with a tragedy that has resulted in the death of one young woman and the sexual assaults of two others. I appreciate the comments, especially from those of you translating Japanese press, but please try to be respectful to the sensitivities of both sides of the issue.
Some of you are wondering how the story on the two guys arrested in Tokyo is getting so much play on my blog. Here’s the deal. My friends and I like to talk about reality TV and also court cases. It was through that connection that I learned about the situation in Japan. Early reports on the case indicated that the suspects may have been part of the Nicki Minaj entourage.
So I decided it might be relevant to the blog since it was connected to entertainment and posted about it.
Prior to posting, I read every single thing that the media puts out there. I keep up with the story every day. And the more I read the sadder I get.
It’s easy to make judgements when you think you know what happened based on “media reports.” A beautiful young girl “has been strangled” and there is a guy “standing over her body not calling for help.” Two men are arrested for sexually assaulting someone in a taxi that has “video of the incident.” But, the more I look into this, the more I wish I had not reported the story at all. I read dozens of stories a day and I see so many misstatements of fact. I get annoyed when y’all misstate facts about the fucking housewives. But there are people’s lives on the line here. It’s serious. And the misstatements are in major newspapers overseas!
Also, while Japan was protecting the name of the 19 year old suspect, one (wrong) name was being published in newspapers as the other suspect. Other places are listing the name of the other girl who is allegedly the victim of sexual abuse. There are so many things heart breakingly wrong with this “story” I posted as if I had all the answers. I regret perpetuating the name of the first “likely suspect.” I will tell you that several sources were posting the name of another musician as the second suspect. I did not. Why? Because I found him on twitter posting away like a choir boy. It took just a few minutes to check. As it turns out that kid who is basically everything any mother would want their kid to be, gifted, spiritual and hardworking, is friends with Richard Hinds, the actual 19 year old in jail.
Today I have read about each of the band members from Memphis who are on the AI tour. Rich had a brother who is also a keyboardist on tour with him. He is touring and I imagine filling in on keyboards while his brother is in Japanese jail. The guitarist and a hand full of other musicians from Memphis are carrying on. I can’t imagine how hard that would be. There is nothing else they can do. But they are all very religious and putting it in God’s hands. What remarkable young men they are. This is my blog, and these are my opinions but I don’t see Rich Hinds having the intent to harm a fly
. My mind could change with more evidence, but I don’t expect to see anything that ties him to the death of Nicola Furlong. I don’t know what happened, I wasn’t there. I regret my assumptions. But now that I know who the 19 year old is? I don’t believe he did anything to harm Nicola. I think Rich made a bad choice to hang out with James Blackston. What 19 year old hasn’t found themselves in a bad situation? I feel like maybe Rich was trying to take care of Nicola who some reports say got wasted and/or drugged in the bar and found himself dealing with a dead girl in a hotel room in a foreign county alone at age 19.
I wish the media would give this case as much attention as they did Amanda Knox. This kid appears to be a great person. I would like to apologize to the commenter that came in to defend him even before we knew who the “19 year old” really was. It’s just such a sad situation. I feel bad for almost everyone involved. The Memphis crew seems like really shining examples of fine young men. I hope that the media and the government will defend this young man and bring him home. As a trial watcher, I am sad that Memphis has to go through another battle for a young man falsely accused.
Am I the only one who cares about this?
Two members of the entourage of Ai (Ai Carina Uemura), a popular Japanese singer who is signed with EMI Music Japan, continue to be held in Tokyo after the murder of an Irish exchange student on May 24, 2012 after she and her friend attended a Nicki Minaj concert. Twenty-three year old James Blackston, is a dancer who performed with Ai the night before the murder as part of the AIndependent Tour. The second person being held is a 19 year old musician also part of the entourage. His name is not being released because under Japanese law he is a minor. He was previously identified in the media and in this blog as Larry Perry. However, local Memphis stations are now reporting that the 19 year old is Richard Hinds. Edit in Red: The newly reported suspect Richard Hinds is a keyboardist from Memphis. He has an older brother who is also a musician. Some reports indicate that both brothers were on the tour. One reporter spoke with their musical mentor who claims that both boys are good kids who were excited about the trip to Japan.
The 19 year old was found standing next to the body of Nicola when security went to check out a noise complaint. Blackston and the woman who was groped in a taxi were in another room at the time the body was found.
Two have been charged with “waisetsu-zai ” which is a sex crime that involves drugging someone and then groping them while they are too drugged to defend themselves. It is believed that the victim of the current charges was not the murder victim, Nicola Furlong, but her friend that she attended the concert with. So far it appears that neither of the two being held have been charged with the death of Nicola. For details of the events of the evening, click here.
Blackston is pictured at left signing a shoe for a Japanese student. He was teaching dance in a local school on May 21. You can see video of Blackston dancing on a Japanese train here.Nicola was buried in her Irish hometown last Sunday. Today, her father has flown to Tokyo in search of answers with regard to Nicola’s murder. It is expected based on Japanese laws, that formal charges could be filed within the next week. Japanese prosecutors have a notoriously high conviction rate because the meticulously build their cases before formally bringing charges.