The trial of Manabu Oshio (32) ended on Friday with a partial guilty verdict. Prosecutors demanded a six-year prison sentence, but he was given only two and a half years. The conviction was handed down by three professional judges and six lay judges, as Oshio was the first celebrity to be tried under the "saiban-in" system that was reintroduced in Japan in May 2009.
Oshio was acquitted of negligence in the death of Ginza hostess Kaori Tanaka (30). The two had taken ecstasy (MDMA) together on the night of August 2, 2009, at a Roppongi apartment. At around 6:00pm that night, Tanaka showed signs of acute drug poisoning, and her estimated time of death was between 6:47pm and 6:53pm. Instead of calling for help, Oshio had notified his manager and later left the scene.
Prosecutors argued that Tanaka could have been saved if Oshio had immediately called for an ambulance instead of trying to escape responsibility. However, based on the quick change in her condition, the jury concluded that even if Oshio had called 119, there is still much doubt that Tanaka could have been saved.
Oshio was still found in violation of the narcotics control laws and was convicted on counts of acceptance and possession. He was already found guilty of use in a separate trial last November.
Oshio’s lawyer filed to appeal the ruling on the same day.