Posted March. 15, 2010 09:29,
In May last year, a 25-year-old man sexually assaulted a 15-year-old girl whom he knew from his neighborhood. The man claimed that he was dating the girl and that she had not strongly resisted him.
A court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison behind bars with a stay of execution of three years.
After his release, however, the man was sentenced to another 30-month prison term for having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl last month. He also posted a video of their tryst on the Internet and named the girl.
The suspect in the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl in Busan, Kim Kil-tae, 33, was given a prison term but had his sentence reduced by an appeals court. Had his sentence not been reduced, the girl could have lived.
These cases show that many juvenile sex offenders are released without serving their full prison terms, and they are also not properly monitored after release.
According to a Supreme Court document submitted yesterday to ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Jung Mi-kyung, more than half of juvenile sex offenders were released last year.
Among 465 of them who stood trial last year, just 44.3 percent served prison time, 35.9 percent received suspended sentences, and six percent were fined.
Still, the statistics resulted from stricter sentencing guidelines for sex crimes set by the Supreme Court in July last year. In 2004 and 2005, the rate of suspended prison terms was far higher than prison sentences for juvenile sex criminals.
Ruling and main opposition lawmakers last year proposed a bill banning suspended prison terms for juvenile sex offenders. The bill, however, has remained pending at the National Assemblys judicial committee for several months.
Legislators opposed to it say the bill could encroach upon the discretionary rights of judges.