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Judo: Japanese Olympic champion loses rape appeal


Japanese double Olympic judo gold medallist Masato Uchishiba lost his appeal Wednesday against a five-year jail sentence for raping a teenage student.

The Tokyo High Court upheld a lower court's verdict, rejecting his repeated claim that the sex was consensual, but Uchishiba's defence counsel immediately appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Uchishiba, 35, was feted as a national hero after bringing home gold medals in the 66kg class during the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

In February, the married judoka was convicted of the assault on a member of a college judo club he was coaching after she fell asleep in a Tokyo hotel.

Prosecutors said the incident occurred in September 2011, when the women's judo club from Kyushu University of Nursing and Social Welfare had been on a visit to Tokyo.

"The victim was considerably exhausted after judo training and drank alcohol," judge Akira Kanaya of the Tokyo High court said, according to the Jiji Press news agency.

"There was nothing factitious in the female club member's testimony that she was assaulted when she woke up in bed." The victim is not being identified publicly because of the nature of the crime.