A 19-year-old youth was sentenced to between 5 and 9 years in prison Tuesday for the murder of a 15-year-old schoolgirl in Asahi, Mie Prefecture, in August 2013.
The defendant, who cannot be named because he is a minor, also attempted to sexually assault the victim, Hiromi Terawa, before killing her and stealing 6,000 yen from her purse.
Three professional judges and six lay judges handed down their verdict at the Tsu District Court, Fuji TV reported.
After the verdict, the victim's father expressed anger at the light sentence. He told a news conference that the defendant had shown no remorse during the trial and did not care about the gravity of his crime. He said his daughter could not rest in peace with such a verdict.
Terawa was last seen alive on the night of Aug 25, 2013. Her body was found on Aug 29 in a vacant lot. Police established that Terawa was on her way home from watching a fireworks festival. She walked with a friend as far as a supermarket, and then continued on by herself. A motorist reported seeing her walking along the street about 400 meters from the vacant lot. The last contact with her was at 10:55 p.m. when she emailed her friend on her cell phone. Her sister tried to call her at 11:17 p.m. but there was no answer, leading police to believe she was already dead at that time.
Terawa's naked body was found by an officer on patrol. The cause of death was strangulation. Her clothes, bag and cell phone were found nearby.
Nearly 8,000 police worked on the case and surveillance camera footage led them to the suspect who lived near where the girl's body was found. He was arrested in March 2014.
The defendant pleaded guilty. He told the court he did not know the girl and that his intent was to rape and then rob her.© Japan Today