This being the first article I read about about the case, I thought, oh, while the sentence is obviously inadequate, at least it’s nice to see a court not swayed by the “I was drunk and under financial distress” argument. Then I read the second article below, and wept.
A criminal who sexually assaulted a child and inflicted a life-long disability on her has had his 12-year sentence confirmed.
The Supreme Court confirmed the trial court’s sentence for 57-year old Mr. Jo, arrested for aggravated rape.
In its opinion the Court deplored the defendant’s rape of an eight-year old child and emphasized the serious physical harm done to the victim.
Mr. Jo pulled the eight-year girl, A, into the bathroom of a church while she was walking to school last December in Ansan and raped her, inflicting serious wounds on her genitals and wounds which will take a lifetime to heal.
The trial and appeals courts sentenced Mr. Jo to 12 years in prison and 7 years of ankle bracelet monitoring after release, a sentence Mr. Jo appealed as being too severe.
On the 22nd KBS-1 news introduced the Na-yeong case (나영이 사건) against the background of the first full year of monitoring bracelets being used on sex offenders, drawing attention from netizens on the damage caused by sexual assault.
The victim in the case, 9-year old Na-yeong, was accosted at the end of last year by a 57-year old man who pulled her into a bathroom and brutally sexually assaulted her. At the time Na-yeong resisted, but the man hit her face several times and pushed her into a toilet, brutally assaulting her and committing an unthinkable sexual crime.
Because her injuries had caused her anus to be destroyed and her sphincter to burst, doctors decided Na-yeong needed an ileostomy. Doctors explained that because her anus, colon, and genitals were 80% destroyed the wounds cannot heal even during her entire lifetime.
Though it was a horrific crime, the court emphasized the man’s “feeble mental state” as a result of his highly drunken state and sentenced him to 12 years in prison. Na-yeong’s father said, “my heart is in pain. This 12-year sentence is not appropriate to this crime. If it cannot be the death penalty, he must get life in prison.”
Viewers poured forth criticism of a man who could inflict such a terrible crime on a young child and raged at the judge for the brevity of the 12-year sentence.
Netizens also wrote, “he committed a crime against humanity and didn’t express remorse, the appeals court has to give him the death penalty,” and “even if you are drunk, a crime is a crime.”
Netizen investigators wrote on discussion forums that the 57-year old criminal had similar prior convictions and wondered about what he said to Na-yeong during the crime, with others speculating about his occupation.
Currently receiving psychiatric care, Na-yeong sustained grievous internal injury because of the criminal. Na-yeong sent out an opinion saying, “he should live 60 years in prison. 10 years for kidnapping, 20 years for assault, 10 years for abandonment, and 20 years for robbing us and making me need medical equipment to live.”
Revealing the depth of the shock she experienced because of the incident, she wrote further that dirt should be put in his food and in prison he should have to live together with cockroaches.
All I can say is, when in holy hell are Korean judges going to stop making excuses for the depraved defendants who come into their courtrooms? Yeah, you raped and tortured a kid, but you’d had a few bottles of soju. Yeah, you raped and abused your granddaughter for years and years, but hey, who else is going to take care of her? Yeah, you murdered your entire family, but really, your wife was unpleasant and you were in debt.
All of this judicial excuse-making gives the impression that judges think it’s understandable to commit crimes like these. Shame on them.