On March 4, the Tokyo District Court heard the verdict of a man (name and age withheld) accused of violating the Child Welfare Law by having sexual intercourse with his own daughter. Judge Shinobu Shinagawa sentenced the man to seven years in prison, but he was not present in the courtroom at the time. The judge had ordered the court to dismiss the case before handing down the main sentence.
According to the indictment, the defendant had sexual intercourse with his daughter, A (then 15), at his home between late June and mid-August 2013, knowing that she was under 18 years old. Perhaps out of concern for the privacy of the victims, the names, ages, and addresses of the defendants in these cases are not revealed.
The defendant, who appeared to be a thin man in his fifties, had two children with his own daughter. The investigation was initiated after receiving information from the child guidance center where these children were being taken into custody.
Nevertheless, the defendant denied it, and at his arraignment in his first trial held in September 2009, he took a written document in his hand and complained for a long time, mainly about the investigation, saying that the address of the place of the crime was different from the address written in the indictment, and that it was a serious violation of the children’s human rights. The defense attorney summarized the case as “an abuse of the right of prosecution based on an illegal investigation,” and argued that he was not guilty because of some illegalities in the procedures followed by the investigating authorities.
Nevertheless, DNA typing was also conducted on the defendant, Ms. A, and the two children in the custody of the Child Guidance Center, and according to the results, the probability that the two children and the defendant are parent and child is approximately 99.999% for each. The trial court found that there was no doubt that the defendant had given his own daughter, Ms. A, two children of her own. However, the defendant has maintained that the police procedures in this evaluation were flawed and that the DNA typing results have no evidentiary value.
In this trial, in which the issue was whether or not there were any illegalities in the investigation procedures, a number of detectives and forensic laboratory personnel appeared as witnesses and testified about what was going on at the time until the verdict. Each time, the defendant brought in a large bag of documents, including his statement and investigation reports, and spread them out on a long table to listen to the witnesses’ stories.
Not only that, the defendant would give a 30-minute “opinion” to the presiding judge about the trial procedures at each hearing. For example, when it was announced that the witness examination of the defendant’s daughter, Ms. A, a victim, would be conducted by video link and that she would be accompanied by a lawyer, the judge stated, “From the viewpoint of human rights protection, it is extremely inappropriate …… for a lawyer to abuse the power of the state and influence the content of the examination. ……,” and other high pitched voices objected.
And even at the trial last December, when the defendant was scheduled to be questioned, before the questioning began, he said, “I object to the examination of evidence!” He began to express his “opinion” again.
“The documents are unnecessarily masked …… and therefore not admissible in evidence …….”
The documents were not evidence, as the court had not yet decided whether to treat them as evidence, but he went on and on expressing these opinions. Toward the end of the session, he said, “It is proceeded on the premise that the investigative agency intentionally made the location of the crime, the address, the names of the children, and the non-existence of the case. I do not know how to answer the forthcoming questions of the accused. It is not a fair trial,” he complained.
In other words, the defendant said, “The police and prosecutors are making up the case, and I can’t answer any of the defendant’s questions that are being asked on that basis.
Therefore, when the defendant’s questioning finally began after a long “opinion” session, the defendant said, “I can’t answer! and refused or remained silent to all questions. In his final statement of opinion in February of this year, he began by saying, “Before I give my statement of opinion, I have something to say.
I have seen the arrest warrant for the first time, and I have discovered that it is different from the one I have! It is forged and replaced. It is clear that three legal professionals are involved. Therefore, I ask that you change the date for my statement of opinion.”
He again accused the investigators of “making up the case” and continued to express his opinion.
The courtroom was reserved from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., but the end of the session was gradually approaching. Would there be any statements of opinion? The presiding judge said, “We have another case starting at 2:00 p.m., so please make your final statement! The case was once again rearranged.
At 2:00 p.m., Judge Shinagawa announced that the court was adjourned without mercy.
I’m done! I had told you last time that you were to make your final statement. Nevertheless, I know you have something to say, so if you tell the court in writing, we will take that into account and render our verdict.”
The defendant, who was too opinionated to make a final statement, was no different at the March 4 sentencing hearing.
I would like to file a motion to reopen arguments!”
It seems that they do not want to end the trial at any cost. He continued in the same tone, expressing dissatisfaction with the trumped-up investigation and dissatisfaction with the proceedings. As the defendant continued to struggle even before the verdict, Judge Shinagawa finally gave him a yellow card, saying, “If you continue to talk like that, I will order you to leave the court. However, the defendant still insisted, “I object! The “I’m not going to stop,” he said. Judge Shinagawa finally announced, “We are going to make a new product.
Then I’m going to ask you to leave the room.
Then, the defendant’s arms were caught by the staff and he was taken out of the courtroom.
The verdict was delivered in the defendant’s absence, and the defendant’s claims of “illegal investigation” and “fabrication,” which he had been detailing until then, were not accepted. The investigation was properly conducted, and each piece of evidence was found to be credible.
According to the ruling, the victim, Ms. A, gave birth in February 2014. According to the obstetrician’s testimony, she became pregnant between May and mid-August 2013.
The court finds that the defendant had intercourse with Ms. A between late June and mid-August 2013.” At the time, Ms. A was a 15-year-old junior high school student. She was in the care of the defendant. She was instilled by the defendant that ‘her own mother is the enemy,’ and the mother-son relationship was not good. Mentally, she was strongly influenced by the defendant. It was truly an act of taking advantage of his biological father’s position.”
The court concluded the verdict in the absence of the defendant.
The negative impact on A’s character development was immeasurable, and the defendant committed an extremely vile and malicious crime by using her as an outlet for his own desires. The victim was pregnant and gave birth, and her feelings of punishment were strong. On the other hand, the defendant has never shown any signs of reflecting on his conduct.
The defendant has filed a motion for appeal in this case. Will the day come when the defendant reflects on his conduct?
Interview and text： Yuki Takahashi
Hearing witness. Freelance writer. The Village of Tsukebi: Did a Rumor Kill Five People?" (Shobunsha), "Runaway Senior Citizen, Crime Theater" (Yoizensha Shinsho), "Kanae Kijima, Dangerous Love's Inner Meaning" (Tokuma Shoten), "Kanae Kijima Theater" (Takarajimasya), and in the past, "Kasumikko Club: Daughters' Trial Observations" (Shinchosha), and many other books based on interviews and court hearings on murder cases.