The Seibu Lions baseball club announced an indefinite suspension Monday for infielder Hotaka Yamakawa after Tokyo prosecutors decided not to indict him over an allegation of rape due to insufficient evidence.
The 31-year-old, a three-time Pacific League home run leader and member of Japan's 2023 World Baseball Classic-winning team, was referred to prosecutors for allegedly raping a female acquaintance at a Tokyo hotel last November.
The prosecutors decided to drop the case last Tuesday.
"We take this situation very gravely and have punished the individual in order to encourage him to do some serious self-reflection," Lions President and CEO Tsuyoshi Okumura said.
The Lions removed Yamakawa from the team on May 12, a day after weekly magazine Shukan Bunshun reported the 2018 PL MVP had assaulted a woman in her 20s. The woman had filed a report to police.
"This situation was caused by my failure to consider my position as a professional baseball player, and I will reflect deeply," Yamakawa said in a statement.