• Kyodo


The Nagoya District Court handed a Nagoya Prison guard a suspended two-year prison sentence Wednesday for his role in the fatal assault of an inmate in 2001 and the injurious assault of another in 2002.

Presiding Judge Yoji Ishiyama suspended for three years the sentence of Hiromasa Okamoto, 48, who was found guilty of assisting guard Mikio Otomaru, 47, in aiming a fire hose at the victim’s bare buttocks in December 2001 at the prison. Otomaru is still on trial.

The inmate suffered serious injuries to his rectum and anus and died of bacterial shock the next day.

Prosecutors had demanded a normal two-year prison.

Okamoto, a deputy chief guard, has admitted that he removed the victim’s trousers, but denied malice, claiming he did not think Otomaru would spray the hose.

He was also charged with inflicting serious injury on another inmate in September 2002, along with guard Akihiko Maeda, 42, by restraining the victim in a tightly cinched leather belt with manacles.

Okamoto claimed he did not use the belt to punish the inmate but has admitted his acts caused injury.

The court ruled that the hose and restraint were actually meant to punish the inmates for disobedience.

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