Trial ends with suspended sentence for Act-Age creator.

In August, manga author Tatsuya Matsumoto (also known by his pen name, Tatsuya Matsuki), creator of Act-Age, was arrested for groping the chest of a 14-year-old girl in Tokyo as he rode past her on his bicycle on a June evening. The police identified Matsumoto through security camera footage, and the 29-year-old admitted that “there is no mistake” regarding the accusations.

With any debate over Matsumoto’s guilt so swiftly settled, the issue became what his punishment would be. With the memory of Rurouni Kenshin creator Nobuhiro Watsuki only needing to pay a fine after his arrest for possession of some 100 discs of child pornography, not everyone was counting on the Japanese justice system to come down particularly hard on Matsumoto, and while his sentence is arguably more severe, it doesn’t include any mandatory jail time.

Matsumoto’s trial came to a close in Tokyo District Court on Wednesday, with presiding judge Tota Akamatsu handing down the 18-month prison sentence the prosecution had been seeking. However, the sentence will be suspended for three years, meaning that Matsumoto won’t have to spend a single night in jail as long as he stays on the right side of the law for the next three years, at which point his debt to society will be considered repaid.

It’s unclear how much time Matsumoto has spent in police custody since his arrest on August 8, but even if he’s been in lock-up the entire time, that would still amount to only four and a half months for groping a minor, plus the promise to not break the law anymore for at least the next three years, which really isn’t much of a punishment when you consider that everyone is already required to follow the law on a permanent basis.

During the sentencing, Akamatsu described the crime as “indecent and malicious in nature” and chastised Matsumoto for “using the innocent victim as an outlet for the stress you were feeling,” referencing Matsumoto’s explanation that he had been “feeling worried and uneasy about many things, but didn’t express that to anyone” at the time of the incident. Still, odds are the girl and her family would have preferred a stricter sentence to stern words.

Sources: Livedoor News/Kyodo via Otakomu, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, NHK News Web
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.