• Kyodo

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Prosecutors and defense lawyers did not appeal by Friday’s deadline to the Tokyo High Court’s ruling earlier this month to send back to a lower court a high-profile stalking-murder case in which explicit images of the victim were posted on the Internet.

A panel of professional and lay judges will now be organized at the Tokyo District Court to retry the case involving Charles Thomas Ikenaga, 22, who was sentenced by the court to 22 years in prison for killing his former girlfriend in 2013 in suburban Tokyo.

Deliberations will be handled either by the Tokyo District Court or the court’s Tachikawa branch.

The Feb. 6 high court ruling said that the district court was wrong to have been overly influenced by Ikenaga’s uploading of explicit images of the 18-year-old victim before and after the killing, as this posting of “revenge porn” was not included in his indictment.

“It was unjust to count the totally different offense of defamation as a factor for toughening a punishment for murder,” the ruling said.

The high court said Ikenaga ambushed his former girlfriend, a senior high school student, in her home and stabbed her to death with a knife on Oct. 8, 2013, in Mitaka, western Tokyo.

A panel of three professional and six lay judges at the district court handed down the 22-year prison sentence for Ikenaga last August.

Prosecutors had demanded life imprisonment.

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