The Supreme Court of Korea has ruled that a rape charge can be recognized as guilty even without the presence of violence or threats as long as the victim was in a situation in which she was brought under control by the mans sudden actions.
Until recently, the Supreme Courts rulings were that in order to apply rape charges, the victim had to have been subject to non-resistible violence. Therefore, this ruling is expected to bring considerable changes regarding the way rape cases are punished.
When his sons girlfriend Jang (17) visited him for New Years greetings on January 2004, Koo (51) took her to a restaurant to buy her soju. Upon hearing from Jang that his son (20) was about to break up with her, Koo comforted her, assuring that he would persuade his son.
The next morning at around 2:00 a.m. Koo took Jang to a motel close by, and after drinking beer in the room together he forced her to have sex.
The next day Jang spent the night in a motel with another man whom she met through Internet chatting, and during the process of being questioned by her parents on why she slept out, she confessed to the rape. Koo was indicted for teenage rape.
During the trial, the main focus was on whether sexual intercourse without the presence of strong violence could be recognized as rape. The original judgment came out as guilty and Koo was sentenced to two years and six months in jail.
However, Koo was declared not guilty in the second hearing. The case was not recognized as rape for the following reasons: Jang obeyed when Koo asked her to come into his arms after drinking beer together, she did not resist strongly during the process, and had sex with another man the day after the alleged rape took place.
However the Supreme Court (Chief Justice Bae Ki-won) revealed on August 15 that they had ruled Koo guilty again and sent the case back to the Seoul High Court on July 29 on the grounds that though the victim was not subject to physical assault or threat, she had no choice but to succumb to Koos sudden actions.
Attorney Kang Ji-won said, Until now the Supreme Court only declared a rape case guilty when the man exerted non-resistible violence, and this has been causing great opposition by female groups. This ruling is a very advanced one and is to be welcomed.
Kang also said, The Supreme Court should hold a full staff counsel and change the very structure of the prerequisites of rape charges.