Lee Kyun-yong, a candidate for the new Supreme Court Chief Justice, was found to have reduced the sentences of perpetrators in half of all cases while examining cases of sexual crimes against children and adolescents as the presiding judge of the sexual violence department. While reducing the sentence of the defendant who raped his underage girlfriend, he cited the fact that ‘the girlfriend is almost an adult at 18 years old.’
In the legal community, there are many cases of reduced sentences compared to the number of cases tried, and it is pointed out that it is not easy to recover damages, so it runs counter to the recent ruling trend of not significantly reducing sentences even if there is an agreement. The women’s community criticized that perpetrator- and male-centered thinking was consistently observed in candidate Lee’s rulings. On the 6th, the office of Rep. Kim Hoe-jae of the Democratic Party of Korea analyzed 26 rulings on candidate Lee’s violation of the Act on Sexual Protection of Children and Adolescents from August 2020 to February 2021 submitted by the Supreme Court. As a result, the sentences were commuted in 13 cases, or half of them
. It was applicable. There were 10 appeals dismissed, 2 cases where the sentence was aggravated, and 1 other case. At the time, candidate Lee was the presiding judge메이저사이트 of the 8th Criminal Division of the Seoul High Court, a division dedicated to sexual violence. Of the 13 cases in which candidate Lee commuted sentences, four were reduced from prison sentences to suspended sentences. In a case where a stepfather entered the room of his 17-year-old daughter while she was sleeping and engaged in similar sexual activity, the first trial that sentenced him to three years in prison was overturned and he was sentenced to three years in prison and four years of probation. Candidate Lee cited ‘agreement with the victim’ as the reason for the reduced sentence.
However, questions are raised as to whether an agreement with a minor child can be an appropriate reason for a reduced sentence. Lee Myeong-sook, a lawyer and CEO of the Korea Women and Children’s Rights Center, said, “Social public opinion has spread that fathers living in the same house should be severely punished for sexual crimes committed against their children,” and added, “My daughter, who has to continue living with me, has written a petition not to be punished because she truly wants it.” “I wonder if they even gave it to me,” he said.
She even commuted the sentence even without agreement with the victim. In particular, she reduced the sentence of the defendant who assaulted and raped her ex-girlfriend after she refused to have sex with him from 7 years to 5 years, citing the reason that “the victim was 18 years old and almost the age of majority.” . At the same time, she said, “The defendant is a relatively young man of 21 years old, and there appears to be room for reform and improvement.”
A chief judge in the metropolitan area said, “It seems that he does not agree with the trend of the times (increasing sentencing for sex crimes). Since dignity once violated cannot be restored with money, greatly reducing the sentence just because of an agreement is an old practice that does not reflect the times. “It looks like this,” he pointed out. A judge in Seoul explained, “The current Supreme Court precedent is that, if possible, the sentencing decided by the first trial should not be touched in the appellate trial.”
Song Ran-hee, standing representative of the Korea Women’s Hotline, pointed out, “If you look at the various rulings revealed so far, you can see a tendency (to be lenient on sexual crimes).” Rep. Kim Hoe-jae criticized, “It is an unfair ruling that ignores the pain suffered by victims of child and adolescent sex crimes,” and added, “It is questionable whether this candidate, who is trying to restore trust in the judiciary, is actually contributing to distrust in the judiciary through unfair rulings.”