Japanese diplomat wasn't remorseful enough over wife-beating charges, judge says 

click to enlarge Yoshiaki Nagaya gets one year in jail
  • Yoshiaki Nagaya gets one year in jail

The San Francisco-based Japanese diplomat who abused his wife might have received a lighter jail sentence if he was even a little remorseful, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Yoshiaki Nagaya, 33, who lives in San Bruno and worked at the Japanese embassy in downtown San Francisco, was sentenced Monday to the maximum one year in County Jail after pleading no contest to two domestic violence

Nagaya’s attorney, Garrick Lew, had argued for a 90-day jail sentence. Lew claimed Nagaya and his wife had a tumultuous 18-month marriage in which they often engaged in mutual combat.

On Monday, San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Craig Parsons said the “mutual combat” defense further proves Nagaya isn’t sorry for the abuse.

The judge “indicated that the defendant was only sorry that he was arrested, not sorry for the actual conduct,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

The low-level vice consul was ordered to surrender to County Jail on May 4. He must also attend domestic violence classes and have no contact with his wife, Wagstaffe said.

Prosecutors described Nagaya as vicious to his wife and initially charged him with 17 felony counts in connection with a string of vicious alleged attacks.

The allegations, which span January 2011 to March 2012, included separate incidents in which Nagaya stabbed his wife’s hand with a screwdriver, knocked out her tooth and tossed her from their car. Other times, prosecutors said, he “stomped on her.”

Lew, who disputes most of those claims, said the evidence showed the couple, who married after only four months of dating, hated one another and were equally awful to each other.

“I think without question it was a bad relationship,” Lew has said. “Unfortunately, neither one of them decided to break it off and get a divorce.”


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