1:51 pm - 07/02/2019

[Trigger Warning] Criticism rises over leniency towards child rapist

Criticism is mounting over a recent high court ruling that commuted a prison term for a child rapist.

The court said the 10-year-old victim's testimony was insufficient to prove there was "enough threat and physical assault" that made the victim unable to defend herself ― which would constitute a rape charge.

In the June 13 ruling, the Seoul High Court handed down a three-year jail term to the offender, a cram school teacher surnamed Lee, 35. The sentence was reduced drastically from an earlier term of eight years given by a local court.

Lee met the victim through a chatting app in April last year. He brought her to his home and had her drink two glasses of soju to get her drunk. He then sexually assaulted her by holding her hands and pressing against her body so she could not move.

Lee denied the allegations, claiming he did not know that the girl, who was 160 centimeters tall, was 10 years old at the time, and that he had sex with her with her consent.

Although the local court acknowledged Lee used threats and physical assaults to the point where she was unable to defend herself, the high court did not ― it said the girl's statement was the only evidence regarding the threat and assault and that it was insufficient.

The ruling caused a public uproar, and a petition was posted on Cheong Wa Dae's website requesting the dismissal of the judge on the case, gaining more than 100,000 signatures.

"How can the judge acknowledge sex with a 10-year-old child as consensual intercourse? Even when the man made her drink alcohol to rape her? I can't believe the judge said the victim's statement is not reliable because she is a child," the petitioner wrote.

Lenient punishment of sexual predators targeting children enables them to repeat their crimes. "Reducing the sentence for the offender is like assaulting her twice," the petitioner said. "I believe such rotten judges make this country even worse."

As the criticism intensified, the court released an unusual explanation over the ruling on Monday.

According to the explanation, the victim just nodded when the investigator asked if Lee just held her hands and body down, so they could not confirm the details of the situation, such as if there was enough threat and violence to prevent her from fighting back.

With such limited evidence, the court could not recognize Lee as guilty of rape, so it ruled him guilty of statutory rape ― sex with a minor is illegal regardless of circumstances.

The high court's account has just added fuel to the criticism.

The Korean Women Lawyers Association issued a statement on Monday, saying, "Three years in prison doesn't meet the people's common sense."

Internet users were also critical. "The man raped a 10-year-old girl by having her drink two glasses of soju, and the judge sided with the offender. Unbelievable," an internet user said.

"Does it make sense to have a sex with a 10-year-old under consent? And only three years? Even 30 years is not enough. If it happened in the U.S., the man would have a life sentence," another wrote.

source: koreatimes

Absolutely disgusting. He should suffer for longer than his victim, who will probably have a lifetime of trauma.
in_noctem 2nd-Jul-2019 12:07 pm (UTC)
literally HOW does someone read the circumstances surrounding the case and basically shrug and be like “hmm yeah it’s hard to confirm the details :-\”

hope everyone involved in this decision dies a tragically slow death
unclbee 2nd-Jul-2019 12:10 pm (UTC)
"The court said the 10-year-old victim's testimony was insufficient to prove there was "enough threat and physical assault" that made the victim unable to defend herself "

what the actual f....
No but it's korea so I shouldn't be so surprised. Y'all remember the "she should have moved her hips away" ?
It just makes my blood boil ugh
adlyeith 2nd-Jul-2019 12:19 pm (UTC)
"Reducing the sentence for the offender is like assaulting her twice."

YEP. This absolutely infuriates me, I can't even imagine how the victim feels. She was basically told that her word isn't enough to prove that she couldn't have fought him off. SHE'S TEN. I don't care if someone doesn't "look their age" that is NOT a viable legal defense, and especially not when he got her drunk before forcing himself on her.
kori_ya 2nd-Jul-2019 02:23 pm (UTC)
This is just disgusting. Rapist and pedophile, let him rot in jail forever. >:(
krissasaur 2nd-Jul-2019 02:34 pm (UTC)
How can you not know someone is 10. I could believe someone could not know a 14 year old is 14 because puberty can age some people up rather quickly, but there is no universe where a 10 year old will ever not look 10.

I hope he gets an ear infection that turns into and even more painful death. :)
dantethetaco 2nd-Jul-2019 08:30 pm (UTC)
but there is no universe where a 10 year old will ever not look 10

I mean, I'm on a english class and I thoguht that one of the girls was like 16-17 and she is actually 12... I was so shocked lmao But, yeah, a 10 year old seems a bit much, and they always look underage even if they look older than they actually are.
premonitioner 2nd-Jul-2019 02:43 pm (UTC)
Korean judicial system being lenient on sex criminals? whaaaaattttt that's like a brand new concept
modestgoddess79 2nd-Jul-2019 02:56 pm (UTC)
"If it happened in the U.S., the man would have a life sentence"

unfortunately not true, there are plenty of recent stories of American child rapists getting time served and probation.

I'm completely disgusted that the judge thinks a 10 year old can consent to sex just because she's tall for her age, plus the rapist is a total liar, a tall child is still mentally a child and he definitely could tell that from chatting with her. He's a rapist and therefore not a reliable witness. The judge, the lawyer and the rapist all deserve to be stoned to death.

I can't help but think a lot of rapist become judges, there is no logical reason for why they are so lenient with rape.
scionofawhisper 2nd-Jul-2019 04:45 pm (UTC)
Child rape is so just damn heinous and evil, and that it happens so often is just.. I can't even comprehend it. How can the universe contain such evil.
rainstormraider 2nd-Jul-2019 05:22 pm (UTC)
These postings to the SK judiciary, are these lifetime appointments? A lot of these people need to be removed immediately. If the police don’t fuck up or the prosecutor's office, then the rampant misogyny behind the bench destroys countless lives. These people need to be stripped of their positions and barred from holding these kinds of positions if the only rationale they can provide for their illogical opinions is that they couldn't tell if the victim was a victim.
kimbafierce 2nd-Jul-2019 06:14 pm (UTC)
Death penalty is the ONLY punishment I'll accept for child rape. But fucking hell, three years..?!!!
I'm out
goshipgurl 2nd-Jul-2019 06:18 pm (UTC)
He didn't know she was only 10, what kind of bullshit excuse is this??

Fuck him and everybody involved in reducing the sentence.
frequency 2nd-Jul-2019 08:21 pm (UTC)
maybe someone will find this asshole and do what the "justice" system neglected to. :) 3 years is garbage.

"If it happened in the U.S., the man would have a life sentence"

what?? this person is dead wrong. i saw a story recently where some guy got less than 2 years for assaulting a toddler.
magicpineapple 2nd-Jul-2019 10:11 pm (UTC)
She is 10.
With regard to the part where the child “just nodded” during the interview with the investigator.... was there any kind of counselor? support person? advocate? any similar individual that had her best interests at heart? A child that was assaulted & raped by a male authority figure is not exactly gonna detail what happened to her when she is being interviewed by, y’know, a male authority figure....
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