The Matsuyama District Court in Ehime Prefecture has sentenced a 37-year-old woman to 11 years in prison over the fatal assault of a 17-year-old girl at her apartment Iyo, Ehime Prefecture, last August.
The court heard that the defendant, Megumi Kubota, and three boys then aged 16 to 18, including Kubota's son, were charged with beating Yuka Ono who was found dead on Aug 15, Sankei reported Tuesday. The four were also charged with illegally disposing of a body. Police discovered the body after receiving a call from an unidentified person in the apartment.
Marks on Ono's body confirmed that the cause of death was severe bodily trauma. An autopsy also revealed that someone had apparently jumped repeatedly on the girl's body.
Police said that Ono, who lived in Matsuyama, had run away from home on June 27 and had been reported missing by her parents on July 19. The court heard that Ono had run away from home many times before and that she had often stayed at Kubota’s place because she was acquainted with Kubota’s oldest daughter, had been living at the apartment.
In the early part of last year, Ono's parents asked child welfare officials to bring her back, but they said there was nothing they could do because Ono was staying with Kubota voluntarily.
Kubota lived with her four children but neighbors said that male and female friends of Kubota’s children were in and out of the apartment all the time.
Police said that neighbors had seen Ono being beaten outside Kubota’s apartment by boys on more than one occasion, and reported it to authorities. However, child welfare authorities said no one was home whenever they visited the apartment.
Police also said that Kubota had been questioned once before about possible abuse of her children.
In handing down his ruling, presiding judge Koichiro Hino said: "As the accused was the principal orchestrator of the assault, it is this court's belief that the other children were coerced into their participation in the assault. The accused treated the victim not as a fellow human being, but as a plaything, and assaulted her for amusement."© Japan Today