Police in Settsu, Osaka Prefecture, say a 23-year-old woman and her 24-year-old boyfriend filmed themselves abusing her three-year-old son and making jokes about it before the child died after being scalded with hot water in August.
On Wednesday, police arrested the mother, Juki Niimura, on suspicion of fatally abusing her son Orito, Fuji TV reported. Her boyfriend, Takumi Matsubara, was arrested in September.
Police arrested Niimura after finding videos on her smartphone, in which Niimura hits her son repeatedly with a pillow on June 20. She and Matsubara can also be heard laughing as the child cries, police said. In another video filmed the same day, Matsubara can be seen punching and slapping Orito’s face.
Matsubara was arrested on Sept 22 on suspicion of scalding Orito to death with hot shower water at their apartment on Aug 31.
After his arrest, Matsubara told police he and Orito were only playing in the shower together, Kyodo News reported. He said he stepped out of the bathroom to set the shower water temperature higher and found the boy collapsed when he returned.
In May, Niikura consulted the local government in Settsu about Matsubara allegedly abusing Orito, but the city's consultation center concluded the situation at the time did not require any protective measures for the child.© Japan Today/Kyodo