• Kyodo


The head of a nonprofit organization working on behalf of young people who have difficulty adjusting in society was arrested Monday with six others over the death of a 26-year-old man confined at their facility, police said.

Shoko Sugiura, 49, head of Ai-Mental School in Nagoya, is suspected of conspiring with staff to drive the man in handcuffs from his home in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, to her facility on April 14.

They also allegedly chained him to a pillar in their facility, causing him to die April 18 of traumatic shock, police said.

That morning, an employee of the NPO found him prone and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A 16-year-old boy also living in the facility was among the seven arrested.

While admitting to confining the man, Sugiura denied any intent to kill, claiming only that she had tried to prevent him from becoming aggressive, according to police.

Police suspect there are more people who were brought to the facility and confined like the 26-year-old man.

Aichi Prefecture granted the organization NPO status in 2001.

According to the NPO’s Web site, about 50 people live together at the facility to receive counseling on returning to society.

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