The Korea Herald


'Short hair means feminism' attacker gets 3 years in jail

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : April 9, 2024 - 18:27

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A young man who assaulted a female convenience store clerk because she had short hair was sentenced to three years in jail Tuesday.

The Jinju branch of the Changwon District Court found the defendant in his 20s guilty of attacking the female victim and another man in his 50s who tried to stop the assault. The assailant was also ordered to pay 2.5 million won ($1,800) in compensation to the owner of the convenience store, and 10 million won to the male victim for the severe injuries he sustained.

The vicious attack took place at a convenience store in Hadae-dong, Jinju in November of last year. The defendant suspected the clerk to be a feminist based on her short hair and said "feminists should be beaten up."

The female victim sustained serious injuries including permanent impairment of her hearing, while the male victim also sustained heavy injuries and quit his job due to trauma.

The sentence was less than the five-year prison term requested by the prosecution. The court said it took into consideration that psychological experts at the state-run Forensic Psychiatry Institute have found the defendant to be in an unstable mental state at the time of the attack.

After the trial, the victims expressed regret about the reduced punishment.

Women's rights groups held a joint press conference in front of the court after the ruling and decried what they called a lenient punishment against what is clearly a hate crime.

"It is regrettable that the court did not see the incident as a hate crime. ... If an act of targeting someone out of hate, just because they belong to a specific group, is not considered a hate crime, then what is?" the groups said in a joint statement. "The cause of this incident is not a mental illness or unstable state of mind, but the defendant's hatred toward women."