crime

19-year-old man accused of killing pregnant girlfriend pleads guilty

18 Comments

A 19-year-old man accused of killing his pregnant girlfriend in May, 2017, pleaded guilty as his trial began in Tokyo.

During the opening session at the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday, the suspect — who cannot be named because he is a minor — pleaded guilty to killing Mai Sato, then 17, at her apartment on May 3, 2017, Fuji TV reported. Her family were away for a few days at the time.

The court heard that the defendant admitted to choking Sato. He also tried to drown her in a bathtub, as water was detected in her lungs. Police said he went home but came back early the next morning and set fire to the girl's second-floor apartment, using a lighter.

According to prosecutors, the suspect told police that he had strangled Sato after she informed him she was pregnant and wanted to die because she wouldn’t be able to cope with child-rearing. He told police he also wanted to die, so when he came back the next morning, he stayed in the apartment as it burned. But he changed his mind and called 119. He was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and then released.

The suspect initially told police that after seeing smoke coming from the girl's second-floor apartment, he had entered it from a balcony to save her. But due to his conflicting accounts of the incident, police became suspicious and arrested him.

Prosecutors then decided that he should undergo a psychiatric evaluation which determined that he was mentally fit to stand trial.

The trial is being held under the lay judge system.

© Japan Today

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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And still a minor. Insane law.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Not a murderer because he's too young? But he was old enough to think he could be a parent?

Intelligence tests for all young couples who want children should be mandatory

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

You calling him a "man" in the article,yet you can't name him because he's a minor. Interesting.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Besides the horror of this story, it's appalling that a 17 years old girl gets pregnant and immediately wants to die, not thinking about what other possibilities she has.

It tells a lot about the lack of help these young women can get, or the difficulty to get an abortion in Japan.

And again, a tragedy that may have been avoided with sex education.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

He's a murderer, but we have to protect his right to privacy. Stupid.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@Bintaro - It tells a lot about the lack of help these young women can get, or the difficulty to get an abortion in Japan.

It's actually not so difficult to get an abortion in Japan and the procedure can be done for as little as ¥150,000. I think the issue here is sex education. Very few high schools have adequate education on personal development or sex ed. Those that do are only very minor seminars. Teenagers are promiscuous all over the world and Japan should stop believing Japanese youth are different.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

it's appalling that a 17 years old girl gets pregnant and immediately wants to die, not thinking about what other possibilities she has.

If you believe suspect's account. She is dead so we have no idea whether she wanted to die or not.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

@Disillusioned

I also agree sex education needs to be massively improved, as well as the stigma surrounding birth control and what not.

But saying an abortion is easy to get is only true if you have a spare 150,000 lying around, and realistically what 17/19 year old has that.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

It tells a lot about the lack of help these young women can get, or the difficulty to get an abortion in Japan.

Compared to most developed nations, it is ver easy to get an abortion here. What is lacking is sex ed. And let's not forget the stigma attached to teenage mothers, single mothers and the like.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Disillusioned

It's actually not so difficult to get an abortion in Japan and the procedure can be done for as little as ¥150,000. 

That's exactly why I say it's difficult. ¥150,000 is not little ! (And that's not covered by health insurance.)

A 19 years old and a 17 years old certainly can't afford it, and then it depends if the parents are willing to pay.

I would also add stigma, as unexpected pregnancy seem to lead mostly to shotgun marriage, but that's just my experience.

@DaDude

She is dead so we have no idea whether she wanted to die or not.

Indeed, but if you compare to other news about abuse for example, it doesn't sound that crazy either. (for the record : that's also not excusing this guy's actions)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@bintaro

It’s very easy to get an abortion here since it’s legal. You just need a 100K JPY. Pro-choice’s paradise here.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I’m guessing the girl wanted to have it, and the guy didn’t.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have spare rooms. Just give me the baby. Also good schools near here.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

this guy is so messed up, since he set fire to the apartment, isn't he endangering other peoples lives here? what would have happened if the fire got hold and really went up and the whole block had caught fire, so he should be charged with the attempt to endanger life on multiple accounts, plus ( alleged) murder of his girl friend and baby. oh boy is this guy in deep poo poo. may be the education comity ought to look how the sex education is taught in Japan ( if at all ) there should be a morning after pill made available for woman.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

How can you possibly have in mind to drown your girlfriend knowi g she is pregnant ?

Torturer.

Fear of parents and the system does not help youngsters.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’s very easy to get an abortion here since it’s legal. You just need a 100K JPY. Pro-choice’s paradise here.

If it was a pro-choice paradise abortion would be free, or available on the health insurance at the very least.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I have a friend who runs an orphanage in Yokosuka, a full 70% of his charges are under 2yo. Most were given up at birth. Along with the comments about abortion, there are other options. No one needed to die or go to jail. Problem is many young people can't or won't talk to someone about their problems.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"During the opening session at the Tokyo District Court on Wednesday, the suspect — who cannot be named because he is a minor ..."

Enough of this nonsense! He murdered a young woman, and depending on your POV regarding the unborn, murdered a baby as well. The guy can vote, but can't be named -- and hey, no qualms about naming the victim, who still has family, eh? Lock him up for life, please. Otherwise, he's going to get a MAXIMUM of 11 months and some change, depending on birthday.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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