Girl backtracks on confession, says she didn’t push boy from building

A second-year junior high school girl reversed her earlier statement and pleaded not guilty Monday to pushing a boy from the fourth floor of an apartment building in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, in June, family court officials said.

“I did not do that,” she was quoted as telling the third session of a juvenile trial before the Tokyo Family Court, which was held behind closed doors.

The girl had previously said she pushed the boy from the building because she was afraid he would tell her mother that she had gone to a video game arcade.

Court officials said the girl earlier told police she “wants to apologize to the boy.” But she told the court officials Monday that she lied during police questioning because she was afraid of her interrogators.

The family court will issue a decision on the girl’s fate Friday, when her detention period ends.

The boy, who was 5 at the time, fell into bushes, suffering only minor injuries.

The family court said the girl began denying responsibility in an interview with a psychiatrist in mid-August.

Officials quoted her as telling the doctor: “I didn’t do it. The boy told me, ‘I want to look out from a high place.’ “

She said she placed the boy on the handrail of a flight of stairs and that he fell after she let him out of her sight.

Monday’s session of the juvenile trial was held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The court heard the psychiatrist’s testimony and the girl answered two hours of questions, mainly from her lawyer, about the incident.

The girl started her education in Japan at age 10 or 11 after her family moved here and enrolled her in the fifth grade at a public elementary school in Shinjuku, the Shinjuku Ward board of education said. Her father is Japanese and her mother is Malaysian.

She could not understand Japanese well and was enrolled in special classes for kids who refuse to go to school.