* September 29, 2009: "Fury over case of 57-year-old man who got 12 years for anally raping child, destroying her intestines with plunger."
* September 10, 2009: "Suspended sentence for rape of transgender woman."
I see it underwent a couple edits, and Stevie Bee's comment was left out. Here's how it read when I mailed it:
Many commenters want to see criminals meet cruel fates in jail, but Stevie Bee brings up an important point. “No question that this was an abhorrent and disturbing crime, but I also find it abhorrent how some people are so happy in the knowledge that prisons are places where people are vulnerable to rape,” he writes. “There seems to be a perverse joy in it.”
Nonetheless I was pleased to see this explanatory sentence finally running under the column, some six months after I started writing for that paper:
These comments were collected by Brian Deutsch from recent blog posts. To read more, visit his blog Brian in Jeollanam-do at: http://briandeutsch.blogspot.com/.
A few days ago the Joongang Ilbo had what I think was the first lengthy write-up in the papers in English on the case. Here's an excerpt:
This is what can be printed publicly:
On the morning of last Dec. 11, police say Cho Du-sun kidnapped 8-year-old Na-young, who was on her way to school in Ansan, a city southwest of Seoul. He took her to a toilet in a nearby church, strangled and beat her unconscious, then raped her. He also tortured the girl in other ways, according to police and prosecutors. Na Yong-min, a detective who was working at the Ansan Danwon Police Station, said his female colleagues cried when they heard the details.
Following the attack, Na-young underwent eight hours of surgery. But it was too late. Many of her lower organs are completely dysfunctional.
After being notified, police arrested the man. Although prosecutors sought a life sentence, the Ansan branch of the Suwon District Court sentenced him to 12 years. After that, he must wear an electronic anklet for seven years. The court said it took into consideration that Cho was drunk, and thus was “weaker mentally and physically.” Under the Korean law, when an intoxicated person commits a crime, the court can reduce a sentence.
Despite the light sentence, Cho appealed, claiming it was too harsh. A higher court dismissed his request, upholding the initial ruling, and on Sept. 24 the Supreme Court confirmed the decision. Prosecutors and police said Cho persistently denied his crime. “Even though Na-young’s blood was discovered on Cho’s shoes and clothes, he insisted he didn’t remember anything,” said Detective Na. “He was such a bald-faced liar.”
When appearing at the Seoul High Court, Cho dyed his hair and wore spectacles to disguise himself, apparently so that Na-young wouldn’t be able to recognize him, police said.
According to the police, Cho served three years in jail under charge of injury resulting from rape in 1983 and has committed 14 other offenses, which have landed him in jail for another seven years and four months.
There's a long article in the Korea Herald as well. And also today is news that President Lee Myung-bak wants more information about sex offenders released:
President Lee Myung-bak ordered the government yesterday to strengthen measures to separate child sex offenders from the rest of society, including a plan to make public more information about their identities.
In a meeting with his senior secretaries, Lee said such measures are necessary because recidivism for child sex offenders is very high.
“The public has the right to know if convicted child sex offenders are living in their neighborhoods or not,” Lee was quoted as saying by his spokeswoman, Kim Eun-hye. “Even if the offenders move, the residents of the relocated areas must know about the danger in their community.”
According to Kim, the government has begun reviews to make public more personal information on such convicted offenders. Starting in January, the government will reveal identities of the convicted child sex offenders, but the information to be provided has limitations.
The blog Korea Beat has been providing the best coverage, translating Korean news stories into English. You've probably already visited these articles, but if you haven't:
* "Child Rapist's Appeal Denied by Supreme Court."
* "President Appealed to in Na-yeong Case."
* "Why the Na-yeong Rapist got 12 years."
* "Long sentences rare in Korean courts."
And just now Gusts of Popular Feeling has posted the relevant video clip from the episode of "쌈" which made the story famous.