The Yokohama District Court has sentenced a 22-year-old woman and her 21-year-old boyfriend to two years in prison, suspended for four years, after they were found guilty of failing to provide medical treatment to the woman’s 3-year-old daughter who suffered severe burns.
The mother, Kaho Hashimoto, who is unemployed, and her unemployed live-in boyfriend, Satoshi Tanaka, were arrested on March 5 after they left the child alone in their apartment in Yokohama’s Tsurumi Ward. The girl had suffered burns to her back on March 4, and instead of seeking medical help, the defendants bandaged her entire back with plastic wrap.
At the time of their arrest, Hashimoto told police she had scalded her daughter by mistake after turning on the hot water while giving her a shower in the afternoon. She said she and Tanaka later went out to play pachinko, thinking her daughter would be OK.
Hashimoto also has a 5-year-old son who was at home at the time. After his mother and Tanaka left, he went to a neighbor and said his sister was hurt and his mother wasn’t home. The neighbor called 119.
In handing down his ruling on Wednesday, Presiding Judge Takao Katayama said Hashimoto and Tanaka lacked responsibility as guardians and were immature if they couldn’t see the serious consequences of not seeking medical help for their daughter, Fuji TV reported.
Defense lawyers said the reasoning behind their clients' actions reflected their lifestyle and attitude toward child-rearing. They argued that Hashimoto and Tanaka have room to rehabilitate and change their behavior in the future.© Japan Today