12-year imprisonment on former Inhwa School employee for sexual violence on disabled minor

Disclaimer: The following is a totally unauthoritative personal translation of an article released by a news agency NEWSis on Jul. 5, 2012, reporting the 12-year imprisonment sentence to a former Inhwa school administration office chief who sexually violated a hearing impaired girl student and ruthlessly assaulted an eyewitness to cover up his crime. With this, judicial procedure concerning Inhwa school sexual violence incidence is finally wrapped up. All rights regarding this post stay with the author(s) of the original article or with NEWSis and this post will be scrapped immediately at their request. In the post, I tried to match the English translation of names of people / institution(s) / position(s) to authentic one(s) as much as possible but, unfortunately, some of them still can be different. Original article of this post (in Korean) can be found in the link at the bottom.

12-year imprisonment on former Inhwa School employee for sexual violence on disabled minor

Reporter Dae-hwan Maeng 맹대환

An employee of Inhwa school in Gwangju, the actual background of movie ‘Dogani’, was finally sentenced a heavy punishment after 7 years from the crime. He was indicted with sexual violence against a hearing impaired girl student of the school. The court sentenced 12 years of imprisonment, putting 7 more years than what the prosecution had asked, and set a clear precedence against inhumane crimes.

Gwangju Regional Court Second Criminal Bench (Presiding judge Sang-hyeon Lee) sentenced 12 years of imprisonment with 10 years of electronic surveillance gear attachment and 10 years of personal information open access to the former Inhwa school administration office chief Mr. Kim (64) for sexually violating a hearing impaired girl student and assaulting the witness of the crime.

The prosecution asked 7 years of imprisonment with 10 years of electronic gear attachment for Mr. Kim.

The court explained the reason for such harsh ruling as “Although seven years have passed and the victim is confusing the case with other sexual violence cases in Inhwa school, lacking consistency in and exaggerating some of the testimonies regarding circumstances and details, her testimonies were believable considering the type and characteristic of her disability and the fact that she was steadfast in testifying where the crime took place, the fact that her both hands were tied, her feelings at the time of crime and who did the crime to her.

Then the court continued “Last year, National Assembly revised the ‘Dogani Law’ following people’s wish for harsher punishment to sexual violence against disabled people.” and added “The crime is extremely heinous since the accused who was supposed to protect and educate those young hearing-impaired victims rather took advantage of the fact that the victims could not speak of their sufferings to outside due to their disability.”

Also the court said “To cover up his crime, Mr. Kim continued to assault the disabled minor eyewitness even though the victim was down on the ground from his repeated beating with a bottle. Both the victim of sexual violence and the witness are experiencing difficulty  for daily lives until quite recently.”

The court said “Mr. Kim neither did anything for the victim and witness to recover from the crime, nor was forgiven by them. He continues to deny his crime and he is neither feeling sorry for his crime nor repenting it. He deserves harsh punishment.”

Mr. Kim was indicted for sexually violating a hearing-impaired girl student who was 18 then in the administration office of Inhwa school in Apr.2005 with her wrists tied and then assaulting another student who eyewitnessed the crime with a bottle.

Mr. Kim had been the last tried person due to Inhwa school sexual violence case in 2007 but was arrested and indicted through police reinvestigation after the movie ‘Dogani’ last year. Mr. Kim was exonerated in 2006 regarding the same case.

Just after the ruling, representative Yong-mok Kim of Inhwa school sexual violence measures committee expressed his relief “We think that the court took special consideration of the crime which was against intellectually disabled and hearing impaired person to sentence more than asked by the prosecution. We expect this ruling will be a good precedence for future crimes of sexual violence against disabled minors.”

Convicted by eyewitness’s testimony, ‘the power of Dogani’

Reporter Dae-hwan Maeng 맹대환

“The movie Dogani was pivotal in disclosing the whole truth eventually.”

Room 201, main criminal courtroom of Gwangju Regional Court around 10AM in Jul.5. When the court sentenced a severe 12 years of imprisonment, 5 years more than what the prosecution had asked, the courtroom momentarily fell to silence.

At that moment, the defendant Mr. Kim(64), former chief of Inhwa school administration office, dropped his head and reeled a little. Mr. Kim who did not move an inch for a while after the trial was over walked out of the courtroom being helped by court clerks.

How can he be found guilty of a crime which he was exonerated in last 2006 after 7 long years?

Officials of Inhwa school sexual violence measures committee said in unison “It was all owing to movie Dogani.”

Representative Ms. Sook-hee Choi of Gwangju Women’s Call said “After the nation-wide fever of movie Dogani, an eyewitness who had witnessed the crime at that time and had been beaten for that came forward, which overturned the whole case.”

Ms. Choi then added “There have been a lot of trouble in finding facts and collecting evidences during the investigation. I think the eyewitness who came forward after the release of movie Dogani must have been pivotal in pinning down the whole truth.”

Mr. Kim was arraigned in 2006 for the same case but was exonerated for lack of confidence on victim’s deposition and lack of witness.

But it was not like that this time. After last year’s release of movie ‘Dogani’, the whole country sizzled with anger and came forward a student who witnessed the administration office chief’s sexual violence.

At the time of the crime, the student was ruthlessly assaulted with a bottle by Mr. Kim who tried to coverup his crime. As an aftermath of the assault, the student tried to commit a suicide then.

The court acknowledged that “The sexual violence victim’s testimony is a little inconsistent and exaggerating but she’s consistently indicating where and how the crime took place and the witness’s damage also concurrs with that.”

Mr. Kim was indicted for sexually violating a hearing impaired girl student in the administration office in Apr. 2005 and ruthlessly assaulting an eyewitness with a bottle.

mdhnews@newsis.com

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