Arrest of U Pacific Senior for Sexual Assault
By Malavika Raj
On Friday, January 11th Pacific senior Shunichi Fujishima, 22, was arrested by the Stockton Police Department for alleged sexual misconduct. He was charged for 8 felony counts for sexual assault of a minor under the age of 14. He is being held at the San Joaquin County under custody and is awaiting his third court date.
Fujishima took part in Pacific’s swim and dive team from August to December 2016. He was not recruited by the school and served as a walk on member of the team, quitting after one semester for “unknown reasons” according to Peter Richardson, the head of Pacific’s swim and dive team. Although he is in the 2015-16 roster photograph, his name is not listed as a past member of the school’s team anymore. He is an Applied Economics major at University of the Pacific. It is not clear if he is still enrolled as a student at the university anymore.
In November 2016, he was hired by the Stockton Swim Club, a local non profit swimming club. According to his LinkedIn profile, he served as the owner and head age group coach. He was responsible for “developing, planning, organizing, and leading the competitive swim program.” The club coaches 7-17 year olds.
Fujishima is accused of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with the victim from May 2018, from when the victim was 12 to December when she turned 13. The charges include: lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14; oral copulation of minor; penetration by foreign object; “statutory” rape with a minor under 16; continuous sexual abuse of child; sending or exhibiting harmful matter to minor; and, possession or control of child pornography. Fujishima was also charged with attempting to dissuade a witness. The police are currently investigating if there are any other victims.
Fujishima was just removed as the head coach of the Swim club from their official website a week after his arrest. Parents and coaches of the Stockton Swim Club have been especially quiet since the arrest was made. Assistant Coach, Skye Beckes, had no comment on the situation either.
Fujishima’s bail has been set to $1,875,000, reduced from the original $2,850,000 after his first court appearance. Currently, he is labelled as a “flight risk and a danger to the community,” according to San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Facebook page. He was expected to make a plea deal during his second court appearance on January 24th, but did not. His attorney, Gil Somera, had no comment when asked about his case. Fujishima’s third court date is set for February 5th at 8:30 A.M.
Jo Ann Kirby
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