Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

German Court Rules Circumcision a Crime, and Japanese Investigate Man Who Cooked, Served Own Genitals

Mao Sugiyama and his infamous meal

Mao Sugiyama (inset) and his infamous meal

A German court in Cologne ruled that circumcision of a child by his parents for religious purposes is assault, asserting a “fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity outweighed the fundamental rights of the parents.” The case was originally brought against a doctor who circumcised a boy, 4, in 2010, at his parents’ request. The boy later experienced bleeding, which is not uncommon given his age, and was brought to a hospital by his parents. Everything seemed under control. Then the hospital called police, who arrested the doctor. The doctor was acquitted, because he had parental permission. Prosecutors appealed the case to the regional court that, again, found the doctor innocent, but came down squarely against the right of the parents make the decision for the child, “the parents have to accept that only the child can decide about his religion when he grows up, and that circumcision is a pre-decision.” Though other courts do not have to follow this court’s decision, it could still be seen as a precedent, so German Jews and Muslims alike are not taking this ruling lying down.

In Japan, police are trying to decide whether or not painter and purported asexual rights crusader Mao Sugiyama, 22, who had his penis and testicles surgically removed in March, then thawed them out on April 13, cooked and served them as a meal for $250 a portion to a party of five, has committed a crime or not. Sugiyama, who now identifies his gender as decidedly asexual, confirmed that the event did in fact occur, and was an effort to raise awareness about ”sexual minorities, x-gender, asexual people”.

This bizarre meal might not have come to the attention of authorities, except that the Mayor of Tokyo, Ryo Tanaka, where the event is said to have been held, told police there was a display of obscenity involved, and added, “Many residents of Suginami and elsewhere have expressed a sense of discomfort and feeling of apprehension over this.”

Feature Article: Crimes Below the Belt: Penile Removal and Castration

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