crime

Man gets 20 years in prison for kidnapping two young girls

26 Comments

The Mito District Court in Tochigi Prefecture has sentenced a 37-year-old man convicted of kidnapping two girls and confining them at his house in 2019 to 20 years in prison.

According to the court ruling on Tuesday, Hitoshi Ito, an unemployed resident of Oyama in Tochigi Prefecture, met the two girls, aged 12 and 15, separately on a social networking site (SNS). The 12-year-old girl was reported missing in November 2019, while the the 15-year-old girl was last seen by her parents in June of that year.

In handing down his verdict, Presiding Judge Keita Nakajima said Ito committed sexual assaults against the girls based on a premeditated plan. He said Ito took advantage of his victims’ immaturity, which will have a significant impact on their future lives.

Ito’s defense team argued that he was in fact trying to save the lives of the girls, who he claimed had told him online that they were unhappy at home and and were thinking about suicide.

The 12-year-old girl told police she met Ito on Twitter on Nov 10, 2019. Ito sent her a message asking her to come to his house in Oyama. He also told her that another girl had been in his house for about six months and that he wanted her to be "a conversation partner" for her, Kyodo News reported.

On the day she disappeared (Nov 17), she agreed to meet Ito in a park near her home. Ito then took her by train to Oyama. On Nov 23, the 12-year-old girl turned up at a koban (police box). She told police she had escaped from a man’s house where another girl was also being confined. Police went to the house and arrested Ito as he was leaving with the 15-year-old girl.

The girls’ smartphones, which were retrieved from Ito's house, had their SIM cards removed and power turned off.

The girls said they were given food once a day and allowed to bathe every two days.

© Japan Today/KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
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That defense argument was the stupidest thing i ever heard. If he truly wanted to save them, he would have called a expert to handle the girls cases. The fact is that he took advantages of 2 underage girls for his own selfish desires. And only feeding them once a day and allow them to take a bath every 2 days is basically abuse.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Agreed, girl_in_tokyo. I have a hard time fathoming the people who seek to place blame elsewhere. It doesn't matter if the girls went anywhere willingly. They are UNDERAGE. They are GIRLS, not women. The kidnapping rapist is a fully-grown ADULT man. He knew exactly what he was doing, including the fact that he was taking advantage of children. There is absolutely no reason to blame the parents or the girls in this, and it's sickening when people seem to feel the need to indirectly defend the indefensible. (Which curiously always seems to happen in these stories of male on female crime.)

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Abhorrent crimes against children.

Still, the court recognized both were psychologically scarred warranting the 20 year sentence.

“In handing down his verdict, Presiding Judge Nakajima said Ito committed sexual assaults against the girls based on a premeditated plan. Ito took advantage of his victims’ immaturity, which will have a significant impact on their future lives.” -

>

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Why was the 12yo girl on Twitter? How about the 15yo girl? What's shocking is that he didn't even kidnapped them. They went to his house with full willingness. Parents have clearly a problem.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

What? No life without parole?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

There are so many things wrong with what is reported here that it makes me want to cry. The only thing that's good is that this predator got 20 years in prison. I hope he'll enjoy his diet of dried fish and rice and not being able to touch anyone but his miserable self for the next two decades.

"Ito’s defense team argued...he was... trying to save the lives of the girls, who were unhappy at home and thinking about suicide."

That was their "argument"? He was trying to "save their lives"? If he was trying to "save" them, then why didn't he call a suicide prevention number? Or police? Or demand to speak to their parents? His "defense team"? They should be jailed along with him!

But also: it shows how uninvolved some parents are in their children's lives. This story is sad and disturbing on every single possible level.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@lostrune2 - there are better ways to save people from suicide than keeping them captive, committing sexual assaults and only them to shower every two days.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

LamillyToday  10:35 pm JST

*It should be, 'held captive', he didn't kidnap them , they went of their own free will. After, it's a different story*

Why is this even brought up? The level of 'free will' is based on maturity level. How much free will does a 12yrs and 15yrs old girl even have. Certainly in the case of the 12yrs old and to a lesser extent the 15yrs old, their level of free will when taken into consideration means they were essentially kidnapped.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

20 years? Good.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

He should be getting life in prison.

This should also be a valuable lesson for all parents and the Ministry of Education to promote awareness of online stranger danger. It's terrifying how the girls so willingly met up with a stranger they met online. Growing up in an age where the internet was something to be cautious and wary of, I still get anxious when I purchase stuff online. There's no way I'd meet up with a stranger I met online.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

@girl_in_tokyoMar. 23 05:50 pm JST

I don't fall into emotional. "convicted in a court" and the actual facts are two different things.

The general idea under kidnapping is without the victim's willingness, or FORCED.

The first actual fact that leads to that story is the girls followed him without any resistance and weren't forced.

Part of this could have been easily avoided if a 12yo girl weren't chatting with an adult on Twitter.

What's interesting to me is guys like you love to bleat, "we are never responsible for anything".

Life shows you're responsible. These girls won't follow any random guy anymore, and that guy won't invite little girls at his place anymore.

Some would call that "significant impact on their future lives", I'd just call that experience.

Actions lead to consequences, in both direction.

The world isn't a fairy tale, men are physically involved, women are mentally involved.

It's easier to see direct consequences of physically actions, but much more complicated to see mental consequences but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Then stop with that men vs women bs.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

MilesTegMar. 23 10:50 pm JST

I agree.

How much free will does a 12yrs and 15yrs old girl even have

Exactly, then why:

Does she have a smartphone with free internet access and a Twitter account?

Was she alone on the street without any adult to look after her?

If you consider a 15yo girl has no free will, it's for everything, not only for not being kidnapped. Then no smartphone, no outings without adults, ..., ...

Parents are responsible of their underage children, whether they are victims or aggressors. In Japan, I'd even say, the family and their companies are responsible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

20 years is good, hopefully no chance for parole either. What I don't get is why some of these parents who fatally abuse their kids get much lighter sentences, like I've seen 7, 8, 9 years for some of those monsters. What this guy did was horrible and glad he is getting a deserved punishment but those monster parents need to also see longer sentences in my opinion.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Why do people think 20 years is enough for this sicko?

It should be at least 30 years per girl.

This piece of trash shouldn’t be allowed out before he’s well into his 90’s.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It should be, 'held captive', he didn't kidnap them , they went of their own free will. After, it's a different story

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

A well deserved sentence.

I am glad there doesnt seem to be sexual assaults and rapes.

The sad part about Japanese criminal system is that if there were sexual crimes he would have likely walked or received an extremely light sentence such as 2 years suspended.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

ostrune2Mar. 23 09:35 pm JST

That's their price for saving them from suicide!

I'm sorry, but surely you are not saying that being kidnapped and raped is a legitimate price for children to pay for "being saved from suicide" when "being saved from suicide" was a lie to justify kidnapping and rape?

I think this comment may have been sarcasm gone wrong because I can't imagine anyone would be inhumane enough to suggest such a thing. Here's hoping, anyway.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

20 years could be enough if the court can share the profiles of his cell mates and it can convince the public that he is going to get the same kind of "conversation partner".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

20 year's in a Japanese prison sounds appropriate.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

LamillyMar. 23 10:35 pm JST

It should be, 'held captive', he didn't kidnap them , they went of their own free will. After, it's a different story

What part of "convicted in a court of law for kidnapping and sexual assault" is unclear to you?

I can't believe I've had to point this out twice now.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Terrible. I certainly hope that isn't the tip of some hidden iceberg of abductions.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Parole is extremely rare in Japan, meaning he'll be 57 when he gets out. Twenty years of prison labor and being released on the verge of being elderly. That punishment seems sufficient.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

AlexisToday 05:10 pm JST

Why was the 12yo girl on Twitter? How about the 15yo girl? What's shocking is that he didn't even kidnapped them. They went to his house with full willingness. Parents have clearly a problem

What part of "convicted in a court of law for kidnapping and sexual assault" do you not understand?

What's interesting to me is guys like you love to bleat, "Men are innocent until proven guilty! We can't know if it is sexual assault until after he is convicted!" But when someone IS convicted, you STILL use the same mantra - blame the victim and deny the man did anything wrong. And that my friends, is misogyny in a nutshell.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

That's their price for saving them from suicide!

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Doing the math, that's 10 years per girl. Seems about right.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

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