• Kyodo

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The Niigata District Court on Tuesday ordered a 38-year-old man charged with confining a girl in his house for nine years to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Presiding Judge Isoo Sakaki accepted a request for the order by lawyers for Nobuyuki Sato. The lawyers claimed the defendant was suffering from diminished awareness or schizophrenia when he abducted the 9-year-old girl in November 1990 in the Sanjo city, Niigata Prefecture.

Public prosecutors opposed the test, quoting Sato as saying he felt guilty during questioning after he was arrested on suspicion of confining the girl in a small room at his home in Kashiwazaki city in the prefecture.

The girl was rescued in January and is currently undergoing both physical and mental rehabilitation, police said.

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