The Nara District Court on Thursday found a 24-year-old man not guilty of fatally abusing his 5-month-old daughter at their apartment in Tenri last December.
Naoya Takigawa was arrested for causing the death of his daughter Shiori at around 5 p.m. on Dec 19, 2016, by repeatedly shaking her body and hitting her head against the wall at their apartment, Fuji TV reported.
Takigawa lived with his then 26-year-old wife and two-year-old son, who were in another room at the time of the incident. His wife told police later that she noticed something wrong with Shiori at around 10:30 p.m. that night and called 119.
Shiori was taken to hospital where she died from brain damage two days later.
The court heard that police consulted several doctors who advised them that the baby's death was a direct result of physical abuse.
When he was arrested, Takigawa was quoted by police as saying that he had been “stressed out” and shook his daughter's body two or three times.
However, his lawyer said that he only dropped the girl accidentally once onto a futon.
In its ruling, the court said that Takigawa had made conflicting statements several times during questioning by police and that his account could not be trusted. It also noted that his wife was home at the time and that Takigawa may have been trying to protect her by making inconsistent statements.
The case was heard by lay judges.© Japan Today