A US-based Japanese diplomat charged with domestic violence has reached a plea deal in the case, reducing his maximum sentence from 20 years to one year, prosecutors said Friday. Yoshiaki Nagaya, vice-consul at Japan's consulate in San Francisco, was charged in May with 17 felony offenses, 14 of domestic violence and three of assault, including stabbing her with a screwdriver and knocking a tooth out. He pled no contest to two counts of domestic violence in court Thursday, under a deal in which prosecutors agreed to drop other charges including assault with a deadly weapon. "Mr Nagaya pled no contest, which is the same as guilty in our system, to two counts of felony domestic violence, San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe told AFP.
Of the dropped charges, he added: "We agreed we would dismiss (them), although the judge can consider them in deciding what the right sentence will be for these two counts. "The judge then made the decision that he would not sentence him to more than one year in the county jail when he comes back for sentencing" on February 4, he added. The 33-year-old could have been jailed for up to 20 years on the original charges. US authorities said that his vice-consul status does not afford him immunity from prosecution for crimes unrelated to his diplomatic work, such as the like domestic violence charges against him.
Nobuhiro Watanabe, the deputy consul general at Japan's Consulate General in San Francisco, said Nagaya remains on the staff while the case has proceeded through the courts. "He's still in service in the mission," he told AFP, declining to comment further. "So long as the process is ongoing we don't have any comment to make ... we closely monitor until the final judgment is made." Nagaya pled not guilty in May to the alleged offenses between January 2011 and March 2012, and was released on bail of $350,000. Diplomatic immunity does not cover the alleged crimes. A restraining order was issued, barring the diplomat from having any contact with his wife in the meantime. Wagstaffe said he did not know if Nagaya would keep his job, saying: "In most systems .. felony convictions would cause one to lose one's position, but .. I can't speak to that directly." But he voiced satisfaction with the plea deal, saying: "It's a good resolution of the case, we're very pleased."
Source: Yahoo News