Crime & Justice

Japanese actor gets suspended prison term over parents’ assisted suicide

Tokyo, Nov 17 (EFE).- Japanese Kabuki theater actor Ennosuke Ichikawa was sentenced Friday to three years in prison, suspended for five years on probation, for helping his parents commit suicide by giving them sleeping pills.

Ichikawa, 47, born Takahiko Kinoshi, was arrested in June accused of having given his septuagenarian parents some type of drug and alcohol on the night of May 17 with the aim of taking his own life.

The actor was found unconscious by an assistant the next day in the basement of the family residence in Tokyo, after an apparent suicide attempt.

Ichikawa said the three had agreed to take their own lives and their parents took sleeping pills. This was allegedly due to accusations of abuse of power and sexual harassment made against the actor in the local press.

During the first hearing of the trial held in October, the actor admitted the charges and said his parents had tried to convince him to change his mind, but they decided to take their own lives with him due to his determination.

The prosecution in the case had said that since the suicide of the artist’s parents was motivated by Ichikawa’s problems, the actor “has a great responsibility and deserves a strong sentence,” also highlighting the impact that the case had on local society, according to details of the process collected by the Mainichi newspaper.

The incident made headlines in the country for days and led to the cancellation of premieres and performances.

The prosecutors asked for three years in prison and the defense sought a suspended prison sentence, as was finally determined.

Ennosuke Ichikawa, the fourth of his name in the Ichikawa artistic family, assumed this stage name in 2012. His popularity had increased in recent years given his versatility of roles and his participation in television series and films, as well as striking works such as the kabuki adaptation of the successful manga “One Piece,” in which he starred in the role of Luffy. EFE


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