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11 years sought for mother in Tokyo child abuse case

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — An 11-year prison term was demanded Monday for a mother for failing to protect her child, who died at age five in Tokyo in March 2018 as a result of abuse by her stepfather.

Yuri Funato, 27, failed to fulfill her minimum responsibility as a mother to protect life, the prosecution said in its concluding remark in a trial by lay judges. The Tokyo District Court is set to issue a ruling Sept. 17.

She was indicted for parental negligence resulting in death over her alleged failure to get necessary medical care for her daughter, Yua.

The stepfather, Yudai, 34, has also been indicted on similar and other charges. His trial will begin on Oct. 1.

According to the prosecutors, the girl was placed on an excessively restricted diet and suffered violence from the stepfather from Jan. 23, 2018, when the family moved from Kagawa Prefecture to Tokyo’s Meguro Ward.

Bruises and other wounds were found on more than 170 spots on her body, and the girl lost about 4 kilograms over the 39 days to her death, according to the prosecutors.

“The mother tolerated the violence by the stepfather as she put priority on her husband,” the prosecution said.

The prosecutors also criticized the mother for rejecting support from public child consultation centers.

Quoting the girl as saying, “Dad, mom, please forgive me,” in her notebook, the prosecutors said the victim could neither escape nor seek help.

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