Cult Priest Gets 20yrs for Rape
February 21, 2006
Tokyo - A cult leader was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping young girls in his church, saying they would go to hell if they refused, a court official said on Tuesday.
Tamotsu Kin, 62, who headed the Christian Central Church of the Holy God in Kyoto, was found guilty of raping seven young girls on more than twenty occasions in 2001-2004, according to a Kyoto District court official who asked not be named.
Kin raped the girls - aged 12-16 - in his study, and told them they would go to hell if they refused or told anyone else, said Kyodo News.
"Kin abused his position within the church to repeat his offences, which have left irreparable scars on the lives of his victims," the ruling by Presiding Judge Takeshi Uegaki read, according to the official.
Twenty years is the maximum sentence for multiple rape under Japanese law.
Kin's attorneys had claimed the defendant did not control the girls' minds through his preaching, but the court dismissed the argument as unnatural and irrational, said Kyodo.
The mainly Protestant National Christian Council in Japan said Kin's church appeared not to be affiliated with any major Christian associations in the country.
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