A sex crime victim gave a lecture at a seminar held for criminal judges at a facility related to the Supreme Court in October last year, informed sources said Saturday.
The seminar, held at the Legal Training and Research Institute, was designed to help participating judges deepen their understanding of the mentality of victims of sexual assaults, they said.
It is believed to be the first time that a victim has been invited to such a seminar, the sources said.
According to the top court, the female sex crime victim and her lawyer, Sakura Kamitani, gave lectures at the seminar, which was attended by 57 judges from district and high courts across the country.
The woman was a victim of attempted rape in 2010 when she was in her 30s, assaulted in Tokyo by a man who was an acquaintance of hers, according to the lawyer.
It took more than a year for the man to be indicted, and he denied the attempted rape charges during his trial.
The man was given a prison sentence without suspension by a district court. But a high court handed down a suspended prison sentence to him later, and the ruling was finalized.
At the seminar, the woman said that during the trial she was asked to show how she was attacked and to recall the event several times. “It was painful as I felt like (I was) experiencing the incident again,” the woman was quoted as saying at the seminar.
Kamitani said that a number of sex crime cases see suspects escape indictment and that many victims do not report their experiences to police.
“I want judges to understand that only a few sex crime cases reach court,” she said.
A supplementary resolution adopted by the Diet at the time of the June 2017 enactment of a penal code amendment to strengthen punishments against sex crime called on the Supreme Court to hold seminars about the mentality of victims.
The top court has so far invited clinical psychotherapists and other specialists supporting victims as lecturers to such seminars.
In March last year, a series of not-guilty rulings were given to suspects in sex crime trials by district courts in Japan, sparking angry responses to the judgments.
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