Japanese consulate official stabbed wife with screwdriver, DA says
A Japanese consulate official faces felony charges after San Mateo County prosecutors alleged he abused his wife for more than a year, including one instance when he knocked out a tooth and another when he stabbed her hand with a screwdriver.
San Francisco Vice Consul Yoshiaki Nagaya, 32, of San Bruno appeared in front of San Mateo County Superior Court Judge Leland Davis on Monday and pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of domestic violence and three counts of assault, said Dist. Atty. Steve Wagstaffe.
Prosecutors allege Nagaya’s wife of about 18 months called police the night of March 31 after her husband threw her out of a moving car in their apartment’s parking garage.
"She decided enough was enough," Wagstaffe said.
After speaking with the woman, investigators determined the alleged abuse "went far beyond that one night" and had occurred since mid-January 2011, Wagstaffe said. Nagaya’s wife had documentation of the incidents, which officials said began when the couple lived in San Francisco and continued when they moved to San Mateo County.
"With some remarkable foresight, she took photographs each and every time," Wagstaffe said.
The type of abuse, Wagstaffe said, ranges from “punching, beating” to occasions where Nagaya "stomped” on his wife. Prosecutors also allege he knocked out one of her teeth and stabbed her with a screwdriver between her forefinger and thumb.
The woman has no lasting physical injuries, Wagstaffe said.
Both police and prosecutors checked with the U.S. State Department to see if diplomatic immunity would apply to Nagaya. Because the alleged abuse took place in his private life and outside of his work as a consulate official, Wagstaffe said, he was not protected.
Nagaya was out of custody on $25,000 bail before his court appearance Monday. Davis increased the amount to $350,000, but Nagaya posted the new amount in cash.
Deputy Consul General Michio Harada said Nagaya still works at the consulate. Nagaya, who works in the economic section, has been at the consulate for about two years.
"We would like to see how the judicial procedure develops and the outcome of the court," Harada said. "If these charges are true, it would be quite regrettable, but the case has just started."
— Kate Mather
Photo: Yoshiaki Nagaya. Credit: San Mateo County Sheriff's Department