Playground rapist gets life sentence

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Playground rapist gets life sentence

A Seoul court yesterday sentenced a 45-year-old man to life in jail for raping an 8-year-old girl in a high-profile case that outraged the country.

Kim Su-cheol was arrested on June 13 on charges of kidnapping the girl from a Seoul elementary school playground in broad daylight and raping her at his home.

“Considering [the defendant’s] past tendency, there are possibilities that he could commit a more brutal and distressing crime if he returns to society,” the Seoul Southern District Court said in its ruling. “A heavy sentence is unavoidable to protect the victim’s family and neighborhood and to warn other potential criminals.”

In addition to the hefty sentence, the court ordered that Kim’s personal information be disclosed for 10 years and that he wear an electronic monitoring anklet for 30 years.

Even if Kim were to be released from prison, the court ordered that he be banned from entering nursing homes or elementary and middle schools near his residence, and he is prohibited from ever approaching the victim in the future.

“Kim inflicted serious emotional and physical damage on the victim, which seems irreparable,” the court said. “When all things are considered, concerns remain over repeat crimes given his inclination toward sex offenses.”

During his trial, Kim, a repeat sex offender who spent 15 years in prison for raping a woman in 1987, admitted his guilt and apologized to the victim’s family.

Kim also told the court he had committed the crime under the influence of alcohol and he had suffered mental illness, though the court did not accept his argument.

During the 30-minute-long sentencing session, Kim remained silent, with his neck bent down to stare at the floor of the courtroom. Yonhap
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