But garnering the most interest on the site of weekly tabloid Shukan Asahi was the story of Rika Nagao, the 23-year-woman in Takamatsu City who was convicted of raping a 12-year-old boy she met online.
On September 4, the Takamatsu District Court handed Nagao, a single mother working part-time, a 3-year prison term, suspended for five years.
According to the ruling, Nagao engaged in sex with the boy, then a sixth-year elementary school student, at her residence between 9:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on January 22.
On a previous occasion, on December 27, 2018, Nagao used her smartphone to photograph the boy licking her chest.
In Japan, the age of consent is 13.
Nagao met the boy, a resident of Fukuoka Prefecture, while playing the online battle game “Knives Out.”
After they engaged in conversation, Nagao visited him in Fukuoka, a distance of about 500 kilometers from Takamatsu. At the time, she was the mother of a 5-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl.
“When she visited Fukuoka, they went to a hotel together,” an investigative source says. “For the meetings in December and January, she summoned him to Takamatsu and he covered the transportation fees himself…It seems that she was involved with other minors she met through the game.”
The pair stayed in touch via a smartphone app. After they engaged in sex, Nagao warned him, saying such things as “Don’t tell anyone” and “Keep silent.”
“On the app, she told him that they could continue the relationship. She wrote, ‘Let’s get married in the future’ and ‘I love you,'” the aforementioned investigative source says.
“You are also a mother”
On the afternoon of January 22, police received an anonymous tip about Nagao. Upon her arrest, Nagao, who was accused of coerced intercourse and the production of child pornography, admitted to the allegations, the Takamatsu-Nishi Police Station said at the time.
During the trial, Nagao apologized. “[My behavior] was truly inexcusable.” In handing down the ruling, the presiding judge lectured Nagao for three minutes.
“The crime of coerced intercourse bears heavy responsibility,” the judge said, according to Shukan Asahi. “Had prosecutors filed charges for kidnapping or confinement, the sentence would not have been suspended.”
The judge continued, “You are also a mother. You should know the concerns that go along with being a mother. Therefore, you are in a position to know that is necessary to raise a child. Please be well aware [of your responsibility] as a mother.”
Nagao also paid the boy 1.5 million yen and agreed to never see him again. Further, she is also to receive medical treatment and counseling.
An acquaintance of Nagao tells Shukan Asahi, “I am hoping for a recovery for the sake of her children.”