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Man handed 18-year prison term for serial rapes of girls

AICHI (TR) – A court here has sentenced a 34-year-old man to 18 years in prison over the rapes of 5 girls over a several-year period, reports Nippon News Network (July 6).

At the Nagoya District Court on Friday, presiding judge Masamichi Itazu handed Masaya Banno, a laborer living in Nagoya’s Nishi Ward, the term over the rapes of the girls, aged between 16 and 18, in Aichi and Gifu prefectures between April, 2014 and last January.

“The mental pain suffered by underage victims is extremely serious,” Itazu said. “As a result, a fairly long prison term is the only suitable punishment.”

The prosecution had sought a 20-year term in the case.

Masaya Banno
Masaya Banno (Twitter)

In one case, Banno, pushed a school girl, then 16, off her bicycle as she commuted home in Inazawa City, Aichi in April, 2015. He then raped her, according to the indictment.

During the trial, the defense denied the allegations in four of the five cases. The prosecution said that DNA analyses of evidence found at the scenes of the crimes proved to be a match for Banno.

The defense disputed the reliability of the analyses. Itazu, however, did not acknowledge that claim. “The opinion of the expert cannot be challenged,” the judge said.