A Justice Ministry panel is proposing tougher penalties for sex offenders in what will be the first revisions to the penal code for sex offenders since 1907.
The changes proposed by the Legislative Council to Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda on Monday include an elimination of the law requiring rape victims to make a formal complaint in order for investigators and public prosecutors to charge sexual offenders. This revision is intended to ease the burden on rape victims who are currently obliged to file complaints themselves, Fuji TV reported. Another change calls for raising the minimum prison term for rape to five years from the current three years.
Other proposals are: -- For victims under the age of 18, guardians and parents can be charged as sex offenders in rape and molestation cases. -- Revising the present provision that is deemed gender biased as it limits rapists to men and rape victims to women. -- A broader definition of “rape” will include acts outside of vaginal intercourse (i.e. forcible oral sex or anal penetration).
The Legislative Council will also further examine what female victims regard as the boundary of sexual assaults.
The Justice Ministry hopes to introduce a bill with the revisions during next year’s ordinary session of the Diet.© Japan Today