Police in Tokyo investigating the killing of Irishwoman Nicola Furlong have charged two American men with assaulting her friend.
Officers believe Ms Furlong and the other woman, also a Wexford native, had their drinks spiked or were given strong alcohol just before the events which led to the 21-year-old Wexford student’s death.
The two Americans, dancer James Blackston, who is in his mid-20s, and a 19-year-old musician, who has not been formally identified due to his age, have been charged with “quasi-forcible indecency” towards the other girl and are being questioned about Ms Furlong’s death.
In relation to that assault, a spokesperson for Tokyo police said: “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.
“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.”
Japanese media reported that an in-taxi surveillance camera showed the alleged assault on the woman.
Ms Furlong’s body was found in a room at the Keio Plaza Hotel on Thursday just hours after she and the other woman attended a Nicki Minaj concert. Hotel staff went to the room after reports of a loud noise at 3.20am. They found her lying on the ground, face up, with one of the men, believed to be the 19-year-old, nearby.
An autopsy has revealed she was strangled and it is believed she was also sexually assaulted. The arrested men said they knew nothing about her death.
Ms Furlong, a Dublin City University exchange student from Curracloe, was studying at the Takasaki City University of Economics. She was due to return to Ireland in July.
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