National / Crime & Legal

Chiba father held over death of daughter served fresh arrest warrant for earlier alleged assault

Kyodo

A man held on suspicion of assaulting his 10-year-old daughter just before she died in late January was served a fresh arrest warrant Thursday for allegedly assaulting her on another occasion about a month earlier, investigative sources said.

Yuichiro Kurihara, 41, was initially arrested on Jan. 25, the day after his daughter Mia, a fourth-grader, was found dead in the bathroom of their home in Noda, Chiba Prefecture.

Kurihara is newly suspected of hitting Mia’s face against the bathroom floor and holding her down at their home, probably between Dec. 30 and Jan. 3, police said. The daughter is believed to have sustained broken bones in the assault.

The police did not reveal whether Kurihara admitted to the charge. He told investigators after the initial arrest he did not believe his actions had been wrong, because they were intended to “discipline” her.

Investigators said they have analyzed video footage and photo images that showed Mia with bruises, crying, and forced to stand for long periods of time.

As part of the alleged assault on Jan. 24 he is suspected of having dowsed his daughter repeatedly with cold water.

An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of the girl’s death, but it found several bruises and internal bleeding, according to the police.

Mia’s mother, Nagisa Kurihara, 32, was also arrested earlier this month for allegedly failing to stop her husband from assaulting their daughter. She has told police that she was aware of her husband’s violence.

Police will investigate to what extent the mother was involved in the latest alleged assault.