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Teen rapist's lawyer asks for leniency because he is 'polite'

By Cho Min-jeong

Published : Nov. 25, 2023 - 16:01

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“He was a polite and delicate student who shed tears even when scolded by the teacher,” a statement by the attorney of a 15-year-old middle school student said, asking for leniency despite admitting that the student had committed a serious crime deserving severe punishment.

The prosecution sought imprisonment for a student who kidnapped and sexually assaulted a woman in her 40s during her late-night commute, robbing her of cash before escaping.

The Nonsan branch under the Daejeon District Court conducted a sentencing trial on Wednesday for the student charged with robbery, rape and causing bodily harm.

Prosecutors requested a minimum of seven years to a maximum 15 years imprisonment for the student, along with a fine of 300,000 won ($230) and a three-year restriction on employment in child and youth-related agencies and facilities for people with disabilities.

The judge retains discretion in determining the maximum sentence, even for a defendant who pleads guilty. A minimum sentence represents the mandatory penalty or required duration of imprisonment, after which the convicted individual could be considered for parole or release.

“The nature of the crime is grotesque and serious, and the victim is expressing severe psychological distress,” the prosecution explained. “Considering the unforgivable nature of the offense, a severe punishment is inevitable.”

The student's attorney sought leniency, emphasizing the student’s typically polite demeanor and tearful response to being reprimanded by teachers.

The defense highlighted the teenager's submission of a reflective statement and a petition, noting that his parents are willing to provide criminal surety.

During the trial, the student admitted to the charges and expressed remorse, without providing specific motives for the crimes.

The student is alleged to have sexually assaulted a woman in her 40s who was commuting in downtown Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province, in the morning.

The student is accused of illegally recording the woman and threatening to disseminate the footage and sexually assault the victim’s daughter if she contacted police. Additionally, the student allegedly stole cash from her before fleeing.

The investigation determined that he targeted a woman for the robbery to fund the purchase of a motorcycle.

After analyzing the student's cellphone, the prosecution found he had carefully planned the robbery by approaching women under the guise of prostitution, and indicted him for additional robbery preparation charges.

Sentencing for the student will be held on Dec. 13.