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However, as the Japanese civil law system did not, at that time, use juries, this could not be grounds for a mistrial.
Former prosecutor Takeshi Tsuchimoto, now a professor of criminal procedure law at Hakuoh University Law School, criticised the decision to acquit Obara for the murder of Lucie Blackman by pointing to the conviction of Masumi Hayashi due to circumstantial evidence.
After losing his fortune when the bubble burst and his firm collapsed, he reportedly used his business as a money laundering front for the yakuza syndicate, Sumiyoshi-kai.
A recreational drug user, he was reported to have an obsession with western women and developed a sex fetish for molesting unconscious women (to whom he had administered drugs to render them unconscious), targeting both Japanese and Western women.
According to the indictment, he made Lucie a drink containing a drug before raping her at a condominium in Zushi, Kanagawa Prefecture, and she subsequently died.
Police found over 200 sex videos showing Obara molesting women in this manner, sometimes wearing a face mask, and they reported that his extensive journals made reference to "conquer play", a euphemism describing his sexual assaults on women who he wrote were "only good for sex" and on whom he sought revenge, "revenge on the world" Lucie Blackman (September 1, 1978 – July 1, 2000) was an English woman from Sevenoaks, Kent who worked as a hostess in Roppongi in Minato, Tokyo.
Common in East Asian nations, "hostess" in this sense describes young women at bars who are paid to engage in conversation with men, light their cigarettes, sing karaoke -- with a strict policy against men touching the hostesses or making sexual propositions.
It is believed that the police did not take this missing person case seriously "because Lucie was working illegally in a job from which women often flee without notice".
As a result, the discovery of the body came too late to determine the cause of the death.