A former babysitter in Japan was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting 20 children.
Hashimoto Akinori, 31, was found guilty of sexually assaulting 20 boys aged 5 to 11. He was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment by the Tokyo District Court on Aug. 30.
One of the ways Akinori, who was qualified as a child care worker, found his jobs was via an app that connects parents with babysitters, according to reports.
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Prosecutors initially accused Akinori of 56 criminal counts and demanded that he be sentenced to 25 years in jail. He was reportedly indicted on 22 counts of rape, 14 counts of sexual abuse and 20 counts of violating the country’s child pornography law. The indictment states that Akinori touched children’s genitals and filmed the acts using his phone between August 2015 and December 2019.
“He preyed on young children for sexual gratification. There is a high chance that he will reoffend, and it is necessary to implement thorough corrective education,” a representative for the prosecution reportedly told the court. “He abused the opportunity given to him by guardians and inflicted emotional distress on many victims from which recovery is difficult. He needs to face severe punishment.”
The incident has prompted the Japanese government to review the guidelines on babysitting matching sites to help prevent similar crimes from occurring in the future.