The wife of a Japanese diplomat based in San Francisco is expected to testify today about allegations of horrific abuse by her husband, who is charged with throwing her from a car, stabbing her with a screwdriver and “stomping on her” several times — once knocking out a tooth.
Members of the Japanese media will most likely fly in for today’s hearing in Redwood City, San Mateo County prosecutors said, as Vice Consul Yoshiaki Nagaya, 33, battles 13 counts of domestic violence and three of assault with a deadly weapon.
The San Bruno resident, who commutes into The City for his relatively low-level consulate job, has pleaded not guilty to charges of launching a string of vicious attacks on his “much smaller” wife. Prosecutors said the abuse started Jan. 12, 2011, shortly after they were married.
On Friday, Nagaya’s attorney requested to delay today’s preliminary hearing, saying he was still investigating the charges. Judge Lisa Novak denied that request, saying there would be plenty of time to gather information before an actual trial.
That sets the stage for today’s testimony from Nagaya’s wife in what is turning into an international case.
An email from prosecutors was sent to media right after Friday’s ruling so that Japanese outlets would have enough time to book flights, San Mateo County
District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.
According to prosecutors, Nagaya, who remains out of custody after posting a $350,000 bail bond, allegedly attacked his wife on multiple occasions through March 31 of this year. In one incident, prosecutors said, he stabbed her in the hand with a screwdriver.
Nagaya’s wife contacted police after a March argument that allegedly turned violent.
Prosecutors said Nagaya hurled his wife out of their car in the parking garage of their apartment building, prosecutors said, leaving her with “scrapes on her face and knees.”
Nagaya started as vice consul nearly two years ago, working in the economics division, Deputy Consul General Michio Harada said. After Nagaya’s arrest, Harada said the consulate would be “closely following” the criminal case.
Consular officials do not have full-fledged diplomatic immunity under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, local experts said.