Court accepts 10-year-old girl’s complaint over molestation

KANAZAWA, Ishikawa Pref. — A court has accepted a previously rejected criminal complaint filed by a 10-year-old girl, ruling that she was not too young to bring an accusation of molestation.

The Kanazawa branch in Ishikawa Prefecture of the Nagoya High Court ordered the Toyama District Court on Tuesday to review its rejection of an indictment against a 42-year-old man for sexual molestation due to the young age of the girl filing the complaint.

The Kanazawa court said she explained “in detail about her suffering as a fifth-grader who was able to achieve a normal academic record.”

The girl is believed to be the youngest person ever in Japan to file a complaint recognized by a high court, a prosecutor at the Kanazawa branch of the Nagoya High Public Prosecutor’s Office said.

According to the penal code, a complaint must be filed by the victim in a case of rape or sexual molestation before an alleged offender can be prosecuted.

In handing down the ruling, presiding Judge Shinichiro Ito said a criminal complaint should be accepted if the victim who filed it “can understand the nature of the crime and ask investigative authorities to punish the perpetrator.”

The Toyama District Court sentenced the man in January to 13 years in prison for raping the girl’s older sister and for sexually assaulting the younger girl between April and June 2011 in another case in which the complaint was filed by the girl’s grandmother.

The man had also been indicted on the molestation charge against the girl, but the Toyama court dismissed this indictment, citing the girl’s young age.

The 39-year-old mother of the two victims, who was dating the man at that time, was given a four-year prison term for helping the man sexually assault her daughters, who were both minors.

The Japan Times, July 4, 2012
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