Mother, partner guilty of infanticide

Kyodo

The Osaka District Court sentenced a 24-year-old mother and her live-in boyfriend to eight years in prison Thursday for fatally abusing her 1-year-old son and injuring her 3-year-old daughter.

Kotomi Manta of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, abused her children as if it were a game, presiding Judge Masahiro Hosoi of the court’s Sakai branch said.

“Abuse by a mother — who is supposed to protect her children — deserves severe censure,” he said.

But the judge reduced the prison term from the 12 years sought by prosecutors because Manta might have been suffering from the results of abuse from her own mother when she was a child.

Manta and her 20-year-old partner, Masahiko Shibata, took turns slamming her son’s face on the table and showering him with hot and cold water for about two weeks, until he died March 16. They also crushed lit cigarettes into her daughter’s back.