Teen acquitted of molestation charge

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Teen acquitted of molestation chargeECPAT/STOP Japan

MIYAZAKI — The Miyazaki Family Court found a teenage boy accused of molesting a girl innocent after deeming a confession he wrote following police questioning unreliable, it has been learned.
“We do not see that there were any actions by the defendant that qualify as indecent assault,” Judge Chiaki Fujimoto said in the Feb. 27 ruling. The boy’s attorney made the ruling public on April 12.
Police had alleged that in June last year the boy, then 13, indecently touched a teenage girl. In October he was taken to the Miyazaki-Minami Police Station, and the case was subsequently forwarded to the family court.
According to his attorney, the vice-principal of the boy’s school suddenly took him to the police station during lunch break. The boy denied the allegation, but after around four hours of questioning during which police told him to confess because they already had the whole story from the girl, he admitted to touching her. The boy was worried he would not be able to go home, and wrote out a confession under the direction of a police officer.
The attorney said that the court ruled, “The confession was made after a long period of questioning and its content lacked specificity. It cannot be considered reliable.”
The boy’s parents, meanwhile, have criticized the school for taking him to police without notifying them first. The school has defended its actions, saying police had requested that staff say nothing to either the boy or his parents. The city board of education, however, has said the parents should have been notified first.
Meanwhile, prefectural police have denied there were any problems with the way the boy was questioned.

April 13, 2013(Mainichi Japan)

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