South Korea to “Toughen” Sex Crime Penalties

It is always interesting to read articles like this shortly after Koreans are complaining about GI sex offenders getting off light when in fact in Korea all sex offenders get off light:

sexual assault korea image
Image via Global Voices.

Teachers and aspiring teachers will be permanently barred from working at schools, if they have a record of being convicted or fined for sex crimes, the government said Friday, announcing a set of new measures to crack down on sexual abuse of young students, especially disabled teens.

The measures call for raising the maximum jail term for rapists of the disabled from the current three years to five years and forcing all convicted of sexual attacks on the disabled to wear an electronic anklet.

In addition, those suspected of sexually abusing the disable can be indicted even without a complaint from the victim, under the government’s bid to eliminate possible loopholes in the current law.

The measures focused on toughening punishment for sex crimes on the disabled come amid the popularity of a Korean film based on the appalling real-life story of teachers sexually abusing their disabled students for years.

The film “Dogani,” whose English title is “The Crucible,” prompted public outcry not only because the crime happened at a Gwangju school for the disabled for years from 2000 but also because the convicted teachers received light punishments.

Of the six teachers charged, only two received actual jail terms, both less than a year, with the others getting suspended terms and acquitted of charges mainly because the victims’ parents agreed to cancel their accusations in return for compensation.  [Korea Herald]

This reminds me of the case three years ago when a mentally handicapped teenager was repeatedly raped by family members who all received suspended sentences and then were given custody of the teenager after the verdict.  Heck in Korea you can receive more time in jail for stealing a cell phone than for rape.

Now compare this punishment and even the new tougher sex crime penalties to the 30 years in a US military jail that a Camp Jackson NCO received for rape.  This was a case where the victim’s parents asked the US military to keep jurisdiction of the case instead of being tried in a Korean court because they knew the US military would give a harsher sentence.



I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.


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