The San Francisco-based Japanese diplomat who abused his wife might have received a lighter jail sentence if he showed even a little remorse, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Yoshiaki Nagaya, 33, who lives in San Bruno and works at the Japanese consulate in downtown San Francisco, was sentenced Monday to the maximum one year in San Mateo County Jail after pleading no contest to two domestic violence charges in December.
Nagaya’s attorney, Garrick Lew, had argued for a 90-day jail sentence. Lew claimed Nagaya and his wife had a tumultuous 18 months of 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 is not sorry for the abuse. Parsons “indicated that the defendant was only sorry that he was arrested, not sorry for the actual conduct,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
The low-level vice consul was ordered to surrender May 4. Nagaya also must attend domestic violence classes and have no contact with his wife, Wagstaffe said.
Prosecutors initially charged Nagaya with 17 felony counts in connection with an alleged string of vicious 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 one of her teeth and tossed her from their car. Other times, prosecutors said, he “stomped on her.”
Lew disputes most of those claims, and he 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.”
As of Tuesday, Nagaya remained a vice consul in San Francisco, Deputy Consul General Nobuhiro Watanabe said. However, officials in Tokyo were made aware of the sentencing Monday and their decision on Nagaya’s future is pending, Watanabe said.