A former employee of a public welfare center in Chiba Prefecture has been taken into custody under suspicion of fatally assaulting a 19-year old resident of the facility. 23-year old Takayoshi Namekata, who was previously employed at the Sodegaura Fukushi Center Yoikuen facility for the disabled but was terminated in December, admitted to police that he attacked the boy several times.
When questioned by the authorities he said, “When the boy made some noise, I gave him a warning. But he didn’t listen to me and my stress just peaked. I beat him up routinely for several months.” In the same investigation, he also implied that he assaulted other residents of the welfare center. A judicial autopsy and an investigation showed that the 19-year old boy died of peritonitis when external blows to the body punctured his small intestine. Police suspect his attacks may have caused the fatal injuries, which led them to arrest Namekata.
Further investigation by the Chiba Prefectural Government showed that other employees of the facility had either physically attacked or sexually abused other residents. Nakemata’s statement to the police that his action was “influenced by senior staffers” shows how such acts are condoned in the institution. When four other former employees of the center were questioned, they reasoned, “Because people around us were assaulting the patients, we became desensitized to it.” Officials of the facility have since apologized for the assaults acknowledging that, “awareness and understanding of abuse prevention was lacking” and stated their deep regret for the incidents.
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