A man has tried to excuse himself from the heinous crime of corrupting a 12-year-old elementary school girl by claiming that he thought she was 13.
The 46-year-old Nagoya man was arrested over another matter, but police found nude pictures of a young girl when searching his phone, leading them to suspect him of statutory rape, as under Japanese law, an adult having sex with a child under 13 is automatically classified as rape, but sex with a girl who is 13 or older may result in a lesser charge if it is deemed to have been consensual.
According to article 177 of the Japanese penal code:
A person who, through assault or intimidation, forcibly commits sexual intercourse with a female of not less than thirteen years of age commits the crime of rape and shall be punished by imprisonment with work for a definite term of not less than 3 years. The same shall apply to a person who commits sexual intercourse with a female under thirteen years of age.
It is perhaps notable that sex with a male under the age of 13 is a less serious crime.
The man claimed to have met the girl on an unspecified “online video platform”, and added that he believed her to be 13 years of age. Seeing as acts of fornication with children between 13 and 17 are still illegal in most cases, it is likely that the man will receive some kind of criminal charge regardless of whether police or the courts believe him to have been ignorant of her age.