When one enters "Chosun University" on an Internet search engine, it automatically suggests "Chosun University assaulter" and "Chosun University School of Medicine." There is growing public anger over a student at the university`s medical school who locked up and assaulted his girlfriend, who was also a student at the same medical school, for two hours but got away with only a light punishment. The university expelled him on Tuesday, while the Ministry of Education started a probe into the university. However they cannot avoid the public criticism for the belated measures.
Last March, the man barged into his girlfriend`s house at dawn and beat her for over two hours because he did not like the way she talked during a telephone conversation on the previous night. It is frightening to hear what was recorded by the victim on her tablet computer, including the thumping sound of the merciless beating, her screams and his threats.
Even though the woman suffered two broken ribs which will take about three weeks to heal completely, Judge Choi Hyeon-jeong of the Gwangju District Court had sentenced the convicted to a fine of 12 million won (10,314 U.S. dollars), saying that she took into consideration the possibility that a heavier sentence would get him expelled from the school. The ruling is the same as a confession that the judge was lenient on the convicted because he would become a medical doctor in the future. Chosun University had turned a deaf ear for over eight months to the victim`s request that the school take necessary measures to prevent her from coming across with him at school. We wonder if the school also had the sense of privilege and discrimination against women.
According to police data obtained last week by Park Nam-choon, a lawmaker of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy, there were 36,362 people who suffered dating violence, including assaults, injuries, rapes, sexual abuses and attempted murders, over the last five years. As most of the victims are physically weaker women and such crimes are becoming more violent to the level of murders or rapes, they must be treated as an act of crime, rather than quarrels between sweethearts. A country with a judge who shows leniency to the brutal criminal just because he will become medical doctors cannot be called a country under the rule of law. We will closely watch the appeals trials.