Thursday, September 10, 2009

Suspended sentence for rape of transgender woman.

An excerpt from the Korea Herald:
The Supreme Court on Thursday reaffirmed a lower court's suspended jail sentence for a man found guilty of raping a transgender woman, Yonhap reported.

The Supreme Court maintained a three-year suspended jail term for the 29-year-old man, who was indicted on charges of raping a 58-year-old transgender woman after breaking into her home in the southern port city of Busan in August 2008.

The article says she underwent the operation 30 years ago, but remains legally a male because she hasn't filed the paperwork.

This seems in line with the new sentencing guidelines we read about a couple weeks ago, and you'll recall the first case:
A 26-year-old man surnamed Kim was sentenced last Friday to a suspended sentence of three years for breaking into a house and raping the occupant.


Stevie Bee said...

Tut tut tut.

So let me get this straight - he gets a suspended sentence because the woman he raped wasn't really a woman? Are we therefore to assume that raping a man doesn't warrant jail time? Or just someone who is quite clearly on the outskirts of polite society and therefore doesn't really matter much?

Brian said...

Well, I think it made the news because she is transgender, but I don't think the sentence was suspended because of it.

After Stevie Bee's comment I added the excerpt about the sentencing guidelines from a few weeks ago.

So Stevie this doesn't seem too out of the ordinary.

In fact, I half wondered if this was the same case. Ages vary widely in Korea's English-language articles because of the age reckoning system---even in reporting on the late Kim Dae-jung---so the 26-year-old and the 29-year-old could be the same guy. I'd have to go back and look through the Korean-language stories to see if they give any background, but this computer is a little too slow for a lot of sleuthing.

Or, it could just be there are lots of breaking and rapings, enough that the government decided sentencing guidelines on these cases were necessary.

Stevie Bee said...

An interesting addendum, Bri.

I would suggest that it is more likely the latter that is the case - that it is a separate case - as anecdotal evidence would strongly suggest that breaking and entering is the typical common M.O. for rape in Korea.

It makes you wonder: What exactly do you have to do to get sent to prison in this country? Is breaking into someone's home and raping them not a strong enough transgression to justify being taken out social circulation for a few years? Is this not quite the reprehensible crime it is in the West?

There's also a very interesting topic to be explored by someone with significantly more time than I have, namely the use of rape fantasies in mainstream Korean porn. In fact, now that I think of it, I happened upon a grot film a few weeks ago when I was overnighting in a love motel (whilst at the Jisan Valley Rock Festival, and with my fiancee, I hasten to add, and not for any other nefarious purposes) and the story was exactly that: Handyman breaks into woman's house, indecently assaults her for fifteen minutes or so (much to her evident displeasure), then rapes her, which she eventually enjoys. My jaw went floor-bound and stayed there for the duration. It was really quite sickening.

ROK Hound said...

"So let me get this straight - he gets a suspended sentence because the woman he raped wasn't really a woman?"

The addendum notwithstanding, I was under the impression that by (Korean) law, a man cannot be raped.

Brian said...

Yeah, Stevie, I've seen a lot of porn like that. Wait, let me clarify, it's not like I was looking for it, but we've all stayed in love motels, and it's hard to miss when it's on three channels.

But I'm no expert in porn, and I appreciate that other cultures will have other tastes, so I'll yield the floor to others on that point. Perhaps The Grand Narrative will address this story and this topic in his next weekly round-up.

Huge said...

Third world country until they sort this nonsense out.

1994 said...

I think that a realative of the victim should break into the judges house and rape whatever female is there. Would he get a suspended sentence too?
Oh Brian, by the way, have you heard the new Maroon 5 "This Love" Korean copycat song on the radio/TV?

Stevie Bee said...

1994 - the judge is simply the instrument of the law. Raping a female relative of his would be unlikely be a productive step. You would need to rape a female relative of the law, like decency or modesty or something.

Brian said...

Well, no, let's not go talking about raping anybody in retribution. And since we're here, I think the frequency of prison rape back home is disgusting, along with the running jokes about "dropping the soap." A person who goes to jail shouldn't fear for his life. Back to this case, I'm sure if the sentence is so objectionable, groups will protest and it will raise awareness. I don't know if the suspended sentences are an improvement, though, or what.

And 1994, no, I haven't heard it, I'm still at home. Got a link? Maroon 5 is semi popular in Korea, so do people know they're ripping it off?

1994 said...

I doubt anyone will stand up for this poor woman of the second level, as it were. This story will just go away, I fear.

I dont know if Koreans know about the 'new' maroon 5 song and cannot really ask anyone I know professionally. But the songs are identical.

samedi said...

Not sure if it's the same song that 1994 is referencing, but Big Bang's "First Single" from August 2006 features a cover of the song from G-Dragon.

YouTube link here:

1994 said...

It sounds like the same one, but I dont think there was rap, just singing. He might of remade his ripoff or some other artist might have stolen what he stole.
P.s.- I just got spit on by an ajumma today. FML.

Peter said...

These "suspended sentences" for rape convictions are horrible and ridiculous. What is the point of convicting someone of a crime, if that conviction doesn't lead to actual punishment of any kind? What kind of message does that send to the public? "Sure, rape is a crime ... just not a crime you'll be punished for." Terrifying.