Family Vacation Turns Into Nightmare: Delaware Man Extradited to Face Rape Charges in St. Thomas

A decade after the alleged incident, a Delaware man faces legal action for sexually assaulting his stepdaughter

  • Janeka Simon
  • February 23, 2024


ST. THOMAS — Ten years onwards from the alleged events that transpired, David Takayama is facing a slew of felony charges for allegedly raping his 18-year old stepdaughter while the family was on vacation in St. Thomas. 

According to court documents, last March, police made contact with a young woman in reference to a sexual assault complaint made in August 2014. The then 18-year-old had reported to police and staff at the Schneider Regional Medical Center's Emergency Room that she had been sexually assaulted by her stepfather while they, her mother, and younger brother were vacationing on St. Thomas. 

During the vacation, the family stayed in a hotel room that had two queen beds in the bedroom. The 18-year-old and her brother were assigned to one, and her mother and Mr. Takayama slept in the other. On the second day of the vacation – August 10, 2014 – she said the family was by the pool, and her stepfather began to ply her with alcohol, each drink approximately 32 ounces in size. Having recently turned 18, the woman said that it was her first time drinking that amount of alcohol and she quickly became intoxicated.

The family later went back to their room to get ready for dinner, and the woman said that Mr. Takayama kept walking in and out of the bathroom while she was in the shower, at some point even coming inside the shower to wash her body with his hands. The woman told police that she chased him from the shower and also heard her mother admonishing her husband for being in the bathroom while her daughter was in the shower. 

Once she had finished in the bathroom, Mr. Takayama reportedly instructed his stepdaughter to get some rest because she was too drunk to go to dinner. The woman did as she was told, and the rest of the family proceeded to dinner while she slept. 

Sometime later, the woman said she was awakened by someone entering the room. It was her stepfather, who she saw pacing back and forth. When she asked, he reportedly told her that her mother and brother were still having dinner downstairs. The woman said Mr. Takayama then removed his clothing and lay down in the bed next to her. 

What happened next, the woman told police, was her first sexual encounter - being raped by her stepfather. 

According to court documents, after the sexual assault, Mr. Takayama reportedly went in the other bed and fell asleep, and her mother and brother returned to the room shortly after. The woman said she could not wait until her mother finished her homework to tell her what had happened, and she began attacking her stepfather, confronting him about the rape. 

Mr. Takayama reportedly began to apologize and suggested she go to the hospital. Once at the hospital, she reported what had happened to her to the attending physician. Police were also notified and took her complaint. However, at the time, the woman said that she was feeling pressured and did not want to cause problems for her family if their provider was arrested, and thus she did not press charges. She also did not undergo a sexual assault examination, revealing that the wait for a doctor to perform the examination was extremely long at the time. The woman said she was provided emergency contraception and then released.

The family returned to the hotel where they continued the rest of their vacation. During the first couple of days, the woman said her stepfather blamed himself for ruining the vacation, but after that proceeded as if nothing had happened. 

The family all returned to their Delaware residence following their time on St. Thomas, where the incident was reported to the police. She told VIPD officers that therapy sessions helped her remember at least one other occasion where Mr. Takayama had touched her inappropriately when she was about 14 years old. 

Local police officers followed up by speaking with the young woman’s mother who corroborated much of her daughter’s story. She told them that both she and her daughter had reverted to her maiden name sometime after Mr. Takayama’s sexual assault. 

While at the hospital following the rape, she told officers that she did not encourage her daughter to receive a sexual assault examination because she was scared and did not know what to do. 

Back on the mainland, the mother told her sister what had happened, and the young woman’s aunt came to take mother and children back home to Baltimore. The mother told police that she and Mr. Takayama subsequently divorced. 

Detectives then subpoenaed the hotel for records about the Takayamas and their stay on St. Thomas to confirm that the family had stayed at the property during the time period in question. The emergency room doctor that had seen the young woman all those years ago was tracked down and interviewed, and said she remembered when the 18-year-old had come in and reported that she had been raped by her stepfather. The young woman was quiet, withdrawn, and looked like she had been crying, the doctor said, and recalled that both the teenager and her mother declined the sexual assault kit at the time. 

The doctor also recalled seeing the whole family at a restaurant having dinner a few days later. 

A warrant for David Takayama’s arrest was issued on December 20, 2023, on charges including three counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree unlawful sexual contact, and one count of first-degree assault, all as crimes of domestic violence. He was arrested in Delaware in late January, waived extradition, and was returned to the U.S. Virgin Islands for his first court appearance on February 22. 

Mr. Takayama appeared before Magistrate Simone VanHolten-Turnbull, who assessed a bond of $40,000 and must now consider a motion from his attorney to allow Mr. Takayama to return to his Delaware residence and attend trial virtually unless his physical presence is requested by the court. Another court hearing has been scheduled for March 8. 

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