RIO DE JANEIRO – A Japanese-Brazilian woman was sentenced to 26 months in prison, commuted to one year of community service, Monday by a Sao Paulo district court for causing a road accident that resulted in the death of a 2-year-old Japanese girl in Shizuoka Prefecture in 2005.
The defendant, Patricia Fujimoto, 38, will not spend time in jail, providing she does four hours of social welfare activities per week for one year. The district court made public the decision on its website without holding a sentencing session.
Fujimoto, who was charged with professional negligence resulting in death, pleaded not guilty and plans to file an appeal with a higher court, judicial sources said.
Her lawyer said she would decide whether to file an appeal after studying the court decision.
Fujimoto’s case was the third in which a Brazilian court has ruled on a defendant whose punishment was sought by the Japanese government. The two countries do not have an extradition treaty.
According to the court, Fujimoto ignored a red light at an intersection while driving a minivehicle in the city of Kosai on Oct. 17, 2005, and collided with a car driven by Rie Yamaoka, 47.
The collision injured Yamaoka and killed her daughter, Riko.
Fujimoto returned to Brazil but denied this was related to the accident, saying she had been fired from her job. She also insisted she had entered the intersection on a green light.
But the Sao Paulo district court accepted the conclusion of Japanese police that she ran a red light.