A 42-year-old man, who was arrested for abusing his 14-year-old stepson and coercing the boy to commit suicide in 2014, has been sentenced to six years in prison.
The Tokyo District Court handed down its ruling on Akira Murayama on Thursday, Fuji TV reported. Murayama had testified that he beat his stepson Yuito but denied ever telling him to commit suicide.
The court heard that Murayama violently hit the boy across the face, chest, and other parts of his body on July 29, 2014. The boy's mother found him hanging by his neck above his bed at their apartment in Nishi-Tokyo at around 9 a.m. on July 30. The mother called 119 and the boy was taken to hospital where he died a short time later.
At the hospital, medical personnel discovered bruising all over the boy's body. Police later arrested Murayama on a charge of assault.
Yuito's mother told police that when Murayama beat him on July 29, he told the boy he should kill himself within 24 hours.
Murayama told the court that the boy's mother also beat the boy.
After his arrest for assault, Murayama said he had been disciplining his stepson since April 2013, hoping it would make him stronger. He also forced the boy to wear a face mask after telling him that he had bad breath.
Yuito's classmates said that when he attended a sports meet in 2014 they could see bruises on his arms and legs.
The court heard that Murayama refused to let Yuito go to school for about two months before his suicide.
Murayama had been living with Yuito and his mother since 2011.© Japan Today