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Chiba: Man sexually abused adopted daughter, 13, during school closure due to coronavirus

CHIBA (TR) – A court here has handed a man a suspended prison term for sexually abusing his adopted daughter, 13, while her school was closed last year, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Dec. 25).

At the Chiba District Court on December 24, presiding judge Yoshinobu Taniguchi handed the unnamed man a three-year prison term, suspended for your years.

“It was a crime for self satisfaction for your twisted sexual desires,” judge Taniguchi said in handing down the ruling.

The prosecution had sought a term of three years and six months.

According to the ruling, the man touched the chest girl’s chest at the residence they share last April 26 while knowing she was a minor.

At the opening of the trial, the prosecution said that the girl’s school was closed at the time of the crime due to coronavirus pandemic. “This left [the defendant] more time at home [with her] to carry out the obscene act,” the prosecution said.

Abuse on the rise

According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare the number of cases of abuse of persons under 18 handled by child guidance centers reached a record high last year.

For Chiba Prefecture and nationwide, there were fewer cases in May, July and August, but a prefectural official said that the declines could be due to the fact that schools were closed and people were not going out due to the pandemic.

Another prefectural official says that many cases go unnoticed, with victims “crying themselves to sleep at night.” To report abuse, the National Child Guidance Center accepts calls 24-hours a day at the number 189.

A representative of the Chiba Prefectural Police said, “If you sense something out of the ordinary [around you], I want you to report it.”