The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday sentenced a man to 12 years in prison for abducting a teenage girl and keeping her in captivity for two years, rejecting his appeal and nullifying a lower court ruling that had given him a nine-year jail term.
Prosecutors had said the earlier decision in March last year was too light considering the vicious nature of the crime and had also appealed the ruling. They had demanded a 15-year prison term for Kabu Terauchi, who lured the girl into his car while she was on her way home from her junior high school in Asaka, Saitama Prefecture, on March 10, 2014.
The high court acknowledged that Terauchi, 26, is able to take full criminal responsibility for his actions.
“It was an extremely cunning crime with the victim’s mind being manipulated by calling the girl by her name, which he confirmed in advance,” presiding Judge Atsuo Wakazono said in handing down the ruling.
Terauchi had appealed last year’s decision by the Saitama District Court, with his lawyers claiming that it was wrong for it to rule that he was fully competent to be held criminally liable due to schizophrenia.
While the lower court determined the physical confinement was moderate in nature as Terauchi left a window unlocked and sometimes left the girl alone when he went on trips, Wakazono said the man psychologically controlled the girl, now 18 years old, and the mitigating aspects of her confinement should not be taken into account.
According to the ruling, Terauchi held her captive first at his apartment in Chiba and later in another apartment in Tokyo’s Nakano Ward until March 2016, causing her to suffer a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder.
The girl escaped from his apartment in Tokyo on March 27, 2016, after she found the door unlocked and made an emergency call to police from a public telephone at Higashi-Nakano Station.
After her escape, Terauchi slashed his throat with a box cutter in an apparent suicide attempt. He was found in Shizuoka Prefecture and arrested after being discharged from the hospital.