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Two Black Americans held in death of Irish woman in Japan

UPDATE: 28 MAY 12: Media outlets reporting on the 19 year old and charges filed:

“[Via the Independent.ie] Blackston and XX have been charged with ‘quasi forcible indecency’ in relation to their treatment of Ms Furlong’s friend in the taxi on the way back to the hotel, during which time she was allegedly groped by the men.

It is believed the investigation is now focusing on whether they had spiked the girls’ drinks or plied them with strong alcohol.

Tokyo police released information in relation to the charge yesterday.

“These two men allegedly took advantage of a female unable to resist due to the fact she was in a comatose state from a highly alcoholic beverage,” a spokesperson said.

“On a taxi ride between Shibuya and Shinjuku, they took advantage of a woman by touching her body.

“As that is an indecent act, they have been charged with quasi forcible indecency.”

This is understood to be a holding charge used by police to retain the men in custody while the young student’s death is thoroughly probed.

The second girl — who has not been identified — is still in Japan and family members have flown out to comfort her.”

In Japan, Quasi Forcible Indecency is defined as:

Quasi Forcible Indecency; Quasi Rape: Article 178

(1) A person who commits an indecent act upon a male or female by taking advantage of loss of consciousness or inability to resist, or by causing a loss of consciousness or inability to resist, shall be punished in the same manner as prescribed for in Article 176.

(2) A person who commits sexual intercourse with a female by taking advantage of a loss of consciousness or inability to resist, or by causing a loss of consciousness or inability to resist, shall be punished in the same matter as prescribed in the preceding Article. SOURCE

The punishment prescribed in Article 176 is as follows:

Forcible Indecency: Article 176

A person who, through assault or intimidation, forcibly commits an indecent act upon a male or female of not less than thirteen years of age shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not less than 6 months but not more than 10 years. The same shall apply to a person who commits an indecent act upon a male or female under thirteen years of age. SOURCE

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UPDATE: 28 MAY 12: “Police investigating the death of an Irish student in Japan believe she was sexually assaulted after she was strangled… while marks found on her neck indicate she was strangled.”

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According to various news reports, a 19-year-old American is being held but not charged in the death of Nicola Furlong, a Dublin City University exchange student that studied in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture located approximately 60 miles northwest of Tokyo. A native of Curracloe, Co Wexford, Ireland, Ms. Furlong’s death is believed to be as a result of suffocation by cervical compression, as reported by authorities.

According to various reports, an unnamed 19-year-old male musician attended a Niki Minaj concert with another American, a 21-year-old dancer, James Blackston. It was reported that Furlong and her girlfriend left the concert with the two men, grabbed a bite to eat and subsequently took a taxi to the Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku where the foursome had additional drinks at the bar.

According to other reports, the young women did not want to wait for the morning train back to Takasaki, which according to my research departs Shinjuku at 5:35 a.m., and instead chose to accompany the men to the hotel. Apparently Ms. Furlong and her friend paired off with the men to separate rooms. The 19-year-old later called the hotel front desk to report Ms. Furlong was ill. The hotel staff contacted the fire department who then contacted the Tokyo Police. The unidentified 19-year-old male was found in the room with Ms. Furlong and voluntarily went with the police for questioning after firefighters raised suspicion.

It should be noted that the two men were arrested for sexual assault of Furlong’s unidentified intoxicated friend while the group were in a taxi. As usual other bloggers in Japan have begun their cyber assault on the “black male,” “hip hop,” “Americans” and any other thing that takes away from the sexual assault (the police have video evidence of the woman being fondled while inside the taxi) of Ms. Furlong’s friend and tragic death of Ms. Furlong.

Here are additional video reports (in Japanese):

Video Report 1

Video Report 2

Video Report 3

Video Report 4

Although, there are various reports regarding the case, many of them conflicting, and rampant speculation on English and Japanese language blogs but here is what I have pieced together so far:

CNN video report:

“Police said both men in custody were entertainers — a 19-year-old musician and a 23-year-old dancer — but did not say if they were part of Minaj’s entourage.

The hotel staff found Furlong unconscious after customers complained of loud noises coming from the room, police said.

When the staff got to the room, they found her in the room with the 19-year-old and called the fire department, Tokyo authorities said.

The death is believed to be as a result of suffocation by cervical compression, police said.”

Hinterland Gazette report:

“Two Americans, one identified as James Blackston, and another unnamed teen, have been questioned in the death of an Irish student, Nicola Furlong, in Tokyo, Japan. Both men were arrested for fondling a friend of the victim in a taxi cab. It is not clear if the men were connected to rapper Nicki Minaj, whose concert the young lady had attended. The U.S. State Department confirmed that two Americans were arrested and a police investigation is underway. Nicola Furlong reportedly died from asphyxiation. The young lady died after spending a night in a hotel following the Nicki Minaj concert.”

CNN Tokyo report:

“The men were not charged in Furlong’s death. Rather, police arrested the men, ages 19 and 23, on suspicion of improperly touching Furlong’s friend in a taxi early Thursday, as the four were headed back to the hotel, authorities said.”

“The hotel staff found Furlong unconscious after customers complained of loud noises coming from the room, police said. When the staff got to the room, they found her in the room with the 19-year-old and called the fire department, Tokyo authorities said.

The death is believed to be as a result of suffocation by the cervical compression, police said.”

Mainichi Shimbun report:

“The two men — the 19-year-old musician and 23-year-old dancer James Blackston — were arrested on suspicion of giving drinks with high alcoholic content to Furlong’s friend, a 21-year-old Irishwoman, leading her to fall unconscious and then groping her inside a taxi, the officials said. As the two men had booked separate rooms, Furlong went into the U.S. teen’s room and her friend to the other man’s room.

The two have denied the allegations, they said. But footage from a surveillance camera in the taxi shows they were touching the unconscious woman, according to investigations.”

Via the Independent.ie report:

“Ms Furlong, who was on a student exchange programme from Dublin City University, was rushed to hospital from the hotel in the early hours of Thursday morning, local time. The young woman from Curracloe, Co Wexford, later died.”

Via the Irish Times online:

“Ms Furlong is believed to have gone to Keio Plaza Hotel in Shinjuku, a business and shopping hub in central Tokyo, after midnight with the man who is being questioned by police, and another friend.

The unidentified man had been a guest at the hotel since Tuesday.

Staff at the hotel front desk took a call from the man at about 4am local time informing them Ms Furlong was ill.

“We called an ambulance and she was taken to hospital,” confirmed hotel spokeswoman Junko Saito.

Ms Furlong was declared dead about an hour later.

The man reportedly voluntarily went with the police and is being questioned by Shinjuku detectives.”

As mentioned, one of the men being held is James Blackston also known as King Tight, a professional dancer from Los Angeles. Below are two video’s of Mr. Blackston. The first one shows a 19-year-old Blackston on a Japanese train 4-years ago (in not the most positive portrayal on the then 19-year-old) and the second video showcasing the talents of King Tight during a performance in China:

Blackstone is known for his unique dance style in the U.S., Europe and Asia. I have viewed pictures and videos of him at the Dancing Against Violence tour in Bonn, Germany and videos of his workshops. A very talented person that has found himself in a very bad situation. Even worst, a young lady lost her life during her prime.

Some of the questions I received have not been asked or even discussed on the various blogs I have read. For example:

“Why did the women go to the hotel if the guys were sexually assaulting Nicola or her friend?” “As tragic as it may be, how do you know rough or hentai sex wasn’t involved?” “Maybe the girls had Jungle Fever and wanted to get a taste of the chocolate?” “Looks like one of the brothas got caught up in that kryptonite!” “If this is true, the fools should rot in hell!”

I would like to note that the two men HAVE NOT been charged in the death of Ms. Furlong. I will update everyone as we learn more. Black Tokyo sends its prayers to the family and friends of Ms. Nicola Furlong with the hope that they will find some answers soon.

Black Tokyo sends its condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Ms. Nicola Furlong. We  hope that they will find some answers soon.

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