중앙데일리

Damages ordered paid in Milyang assault case

Aug 18,2007
The government has been ordered to pay tens of millions of won in compensation for insulting remarks made by the police against the victims of the Milyang sexual assault case while it was being investigated.
The Seoul High Court ruled yesterday that the government must pay 30 million won ($31,560) each to the two teenage sisters, and 10 million won to their mother. They had filed the complaint against the government asking for compensation for the police officers’ illegal investigation procedures and insults made by the officials about the girls.
“It is evident that the victims felt humiliated and insulted by the police officials’ remarks,” said the court ruling. “Making the victims point out a person who sexually assaulted them among 41 suspects lined up in front of them in an open police office also violated police regulations designed to protect the human rights of victims.”
In December 2004, the story of the sisters, now 16 and 18, who were sexually assaulted by 41 high school boys for about a year in Milyang, South Gyeongsang, shocked Korean society.
A police official at Ulsan Nambu police precinct asked the victims, “Did you try to entice the guys? You ruined the reputation of Milyang. The boys who would lead the city were all arrested. What are you going to do?” according to the ruling.
“I am afraid that my daughter will be like you,” the official also said.
Some police officials went to a karaoke and revealed the names of the victims to hostesses there.
“When the victims are teenagers, it is even more necessary to protect them and if the victims directly confront the suspects, the victims can suffer greater damage, such as revenge and more,” said the ruling.
No suspect in the case was convicted of criminal charges and only five were sent to a juvenile correctional center.


By Park Sung-woo JoongAng Ilbo [soejung@joongang.co.kr]


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