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Police Once Again Hurt Victimized Middle School Girls

Posted December. 12, 2004 23:24,   


It has been revealed that during the investigation of sexual assaults on middle school girls by high school boys from Miryang, South Kyongsang Province, the police have been mistreating the victimized middle school girls, aggravating their pain.

As a result, nuriggun (netizens) have gathered to protest against the police and decided to conduct an investigation.

Absurd Investigation Behavior-

In the criminal case office room of South Ulsan police station during the afternoon of December 7, 10 boys accused of sexual assault were standing side-by-side in a single line.

A few minutes later, the police detectives brought in victim A with them and told her to point out their assailants. “A” pointed out few of the assailants with hesitation. Even though the alleged assailants were face-back to her, “A” couldn’t lift her head because she was too scared and shocked that she was standing in front of them again.

During the investigation of most criminal cases, and undoubtedly sexual assault cases, it is a standard procedure to make sure that the faces of the victims or the witnesses are not exposed. However, ignoring such procedures, the police exposed the victims to the assailants in the office where the suspects were interrogated.

Prior to this, “A” was beseiged by “H” (22) and other family members of the assailants as she was heading to the police station, receiving threats such as, “Let’s see if you can sleep well after reporting to the police. Watch out.”

A police related official explained, “The room to winnow the assailants is too small for more than one assailant to go in, so we have asked beforehand for the victim to point out the assailants.”

Meanwhile, it has been found that on the same day, Kim (39), a police senior patrolman of South Ulsan police station, insulted “A” in his office, saying, “My hometown is Miryang, and you girls have brought disgrace on the city.’’ The South Ulsan police station is planning to submit Kim to grave disciplinary punishment.

Also, even though “A” requested a female police officer, saying, “Let me be questioned by a female police officer,” after the first or second questioning, it has been revealed that the male police officers questioned her because “there are too many alleged suspects and there aren’t any professional investigators among the female police officers.”

Exaggerated and Erroneous Reports-

On the arrest report announced on December 7 and the materials handed out to reporters, the police have stated that “A” (14,•Middle School Three) and her little sister (13,•Middle School Two) were sexually assaulted twice in July and September in Changwon and Miryang. However, both the victims and the assailants conceded that the little sister was not sexually assaulted but only hit with a blunt weapon.

There are doubts that the police have exaggerated the existence of the Miryang Union, in which the assailants are said to be members. The police said, “The Miryang Union is a group of high school students who have tattoos all over their body and weigh more than 80kg. We are planning to thoroughly look into this criminal group.”

However, after looking into the matter, there were no students with tattoos covered all over their bodies, but only four or five students who engraved the letter “王” on their fingers. Most of the boys asserted that “I never heard of the ‘Miryang Union’ before I came to the police station.”

Suspicions of Downscaling the Case-

In the beginning, the police said, “Among the 41 boys caught, we have arrested 17 boys who directly participated in the sexual assault and we are still tracking down the 75 people who have not yet been brought in for questioning.”

However, the police only arrested a total of 12 people, three people on December 8 and nine people on December 11, booking 29 others without detention.

On Sunday, six days after gathering the accused high school boys, the police closed the investigation, saying, “No additional criminal acts have been revealed.”

The police explained, “Since few of the assailants mentioned the ‘Miryang Union’ assuming all the assailants were members, we conducted an investigation of whether such a criminal group really exists, but we couldn’t find any evidence.”

Furthermore, the police have posted a statement of apology on their homepage, stating that “ignoring the demand for a female police officer to question the victims and for a police officer to insult the victims was indeed a wrongful act.”

Jae-Rak Jeong raks@donga.com