The Fukuoka District Court has sentenced a 24-year-old man and his 23-year-old former wife to 12 years in prison after they were found guilty of fatally abusing her three-year-old son from a prior marriage.
The court ruled on Friday that Ryoga Suemasu, an ex-construction worker, beat his stepson Manato about the head several times at around 10:30 p.m. on Aug 15, 2020, at their apartment in Nakama, Fukuoka Prefecture, Fuji TV reported. Manato lost consciousness and early the next morning, his mother Ayumi noticed something was wrong with him. She and Suemasu took him to a hospital where doctors later contacted police about a case of possible child abuse.
Manato later died of an acute subdural hematoma.
Police arrested Suematsu and Ayumi on suspicion of fatal abuse, but both denied the charge.
When he was initially arrested, Suematsu admitted hitting Manato with his fists, telling police he lost his temper because the boy wouldn’t go to sleep when it was his bedtime but denied any intent to kill him.
Police said doctors found other bruises on the boy’s body and believe he may have been abused on several occasions. Ayumi admitted putting sand in his mouth one time.
Suematsu had moved in with Manato and his mother in May 2020.
In handing down the ruling, the presiding judge called the abuse an act of outrageous cruelty.© Japan Today