Photo/IllutrationThe Nagoya District Court’s Okazaki branch in Aichi Prefecture (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

OKAZAKI, Aichi Prefecture--A father with a history of sexually abusing his daughter was found not guilty of “quasi-forcible intercourse” after a judge ruled the girl may have been able to resist his assaults.

The ruling by the Nagoya District Court’s Okazaki branch was dated March 26.

The father was indicted on charges of having non-consensual intercourse with his then 19-year-old daughter twice, in August and September 2017, at their home in Aichi Prefecture.

Prosecutors sought a 10-year prison term for the accused for quasi-forced sexual intercourse. The charge, under revisions to the Criminal Law in 2017, refers to cases in which the victim is too incapacitated by drugs or other factors to put up resistance.

The prosecutors argued that it was extremely difficult for the daughter to resist the rapes from her biological father because she had long been a victim of his violence and sexual abuse.

But defense lawyers maintained that the father and daughter were engaged in consensual sex, and that she was not in a state in which she could not put up resistance.

They also said that even if she were unable to resist her father, he was not aware of her state.

Presiding Judge Hiromitsu Ukai acknowledged in the ruling that the victim did not consent to sex with her father.

The court also acknowledged that the accused had effectively put her under his psychological control through his longtime sexual abuse and other acts.

But the court found him innocent of quasi-forced sexual intercourse.

“It is difficult to determine that the accused had complete control over her and they were in a strong subservient relationship,” the court said. “There is reasonable doubt that the victim was in a state of not being able to put up resistance.”

Masako Chiku, deputy chief prosecutor with the Nagoya District Public Prosecutors Office, said in a statement: “We will carefully examine the ruling and make an appropriate response by consulting with a superior public prosecutors office.”