NAGOYA, Japan, May 30 (UPI) -- A former stable master has been sentenced to six years in prison for the hazing death of a 17-year-old wrestler.
Nagoya District Court Presiding Judge Masaharu Ashizawa said Junichi Yamamoto, with his "immeasurable power" as stable master, had ordered the two days of physical abuse against Takashi Saito, who went by the ring name Tokitaizan, Kyodo News reported Saturday.
The judge said the fatal hazing "grossly disrespected the victim's human dignity."
Yamamoto, 59, immediately appealed the judge's ruling.
Three senior wrestlers who abused Saito received suspended prison terms and were dismissed by the Japan Sumo Association.
The court found that Yamamoto hit Saito with a beer bottle during dinner on June 25, 2007, and told the three wrestlers to beat the man with a stick.