Chiba father gets 16-year sentence for fatal abuse of daughter
Japan Times -- Mar 20
A man at the center of a high-profile child abuse case was sentenced to 16 years in prison Thursday for causing the death of his 10-year-old daughter.

Yuichiro Kurihara, 42, deprived his daughter Mia of sleep and nutrition at their family home in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, leading to her death in January last year, according to the ruling.

Prosecutors had demanded an 18-year prison term for Kurihara.

The father, dressed in a black suit and blue necktie, expressed no emotion as he bowed to the presiding judge and the prosecutors after the ruling was handed down.

During hearings at the Chiba District Court, Kurihara admitted to assaulting Mia but denied other charges leveled against him.

However, the court found him guilty on all charges of fatal child abuse during Thursday’s ruling, calling the father’s testimony “unreliable.”

The father was indicted in March after the girl was found dead in the bathroom of their home on Jan. 24.

He forced her to stand in the bathroom while showering cold water on her between Jan. 22 and 24, according to the indictment.

A video on Kurhihara’s cell phone showed Mia being forced to do stretching exercises repeatedly and begging for help as he continuously reproached her.

Kurihara had also faced charges of physically abusing his daughter from December 2018 to January 2019 and beating his 33-year-old wife, Nagisa.

His wife was sentenced last June to 30 months in prison, suspended for five years with probation, for being complicit in her husband’s treatment of Mia.

千葉県野田市で栗原心愛さん(当時10)が虐待され死亡した事件で、千葉地裁は19日、父親の勇一郎被告(42)に懲役16年の判決を言い渡した。これまでの裁判で、勇一郎被告は暴力行為のほとんどについて「心愛が嘘をついている」などと主張してきた。しかし、千葉地裁は「被告人の供述は到底信用できない。自己の責任を心愛や母親に転嫁し、およそ自らの罪に向き合っているとはいえない」とした。さらに「支配の対象は母親も同様であり、これが心愛から唯一にして最後の救いをも奪った」と指摘した。裁判を傍聴し続けてきた千葉大学大学院の後藤弘子教授は「彼の価値観だけが、唯一正しいという風に思っている状況を一つずつ変えていって、社会の価値観に合わせていかないといけない。判決が出たから終わりではなくて、これからが出発点」と語った。
News sources: Japan Times, ANNnewsCH
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