A Japanese diplomat based in San Francisco has been charged with a string of vicious attacks on his “much smaller” wife, prosecutors said Monday.
San Francisco Vice Consul Yoshiaki Nagaya, 32, of San Bruno, pleaded not guilty Monday to 13 counts of domestic violence and three charges of assault with a deadly weapon in connection with alleged attacks that began shortly after he and his wife married 18 months ago.
On one occasion, prosecutors said, Nagaya stabbed his wife in the hand with a screwdriver. He allegedly knocked out her tooth in another incident.
Other times, he “stomped on her,” San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
During an argument in March, Wagstaffe said, Nagaya threw his wife out of their car in the parking garage of their apartment.
“She had scrapes on her face and knees” after the incident, Wagstaffe said.
Nagaya’s wife contacted police after the parking garage incident. Nagaya was subsequently arrested after an investigation.
The attacks began Jan. 12, 2011, and lasted through March 31 of this year, Nagaya’s wife told investigators. During that period, the couple moved from San Francisco to San Bruno. The wife photographed her injuries after each incident, Wagstaffe said.
Nagaya posted the $25,000 bail soon after his arrest. However, during his first appearance before a judge Monday, his bail was increased to $350,000. He was able to post that amount and was released from custody Monday, Wagstaffe said.
Nagaya started as vice consul, a low-level consulate position, nearly two years ago, Deputy Consul General Michio Harada said. He works in the economics division at the office, which is located at 50 Fremont St., Harada said.
Harada said he works closely with Nagaya, but declined to discuss the diplomat’s personality or performance.
The consulate will “closely follow” Nagaya’s case, Harada added.
According to legal experts, consular officials do not have full-fledged diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. They generally only qualify for immunity for acts performed while exercising their official duties.