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A 44-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion that he beat and buried his 9-year-old stepdaughter up to her neck outside their home in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, police said.

The man, whose name has not been released, admitted to investigators that he had gone too far in trying to “discipline” the girl.

According to police, the man beat the girl in the face and kicked her in the back on June 1, and then buried her up to the neck in a hole he had dug in his yard and kept her there for about an hour until she apologized her behavior.

They quoted the man as saying he was disciplining the girl so she would do her homework and wake up on time.

The girl’s 31-year-old mother, who married the man in 2003, claimed she did not realize her daughter was being abused because she was in another room at the time, according to police.

The day after the incident, the girl’s teacher noticed her facial injuries and contacted the local child consultation center, which filed a criminal accusation with police.

The girl was placed in protective custody.

Newborn beaten

MAEBASHI, Gunma Pref. (Kyodo) A 37-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly beating his 2-week-old daughter at their home in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture, rendering her unconscious.

Police suspect that Etsunaga Inoue, a house painter, hit and kicked the infant earlier this month because she would not stop crying. They believe he assaulted her on more than one occasion.

Inoue took the girl to a hospital Tuesday evening and doctors there called police after noting the baby appeared to have been beaten. The girl is in critical condition.

Inoue has denied abusing his daughter.

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