Daegu shocked by another case of youth trouble

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Daegu shocked by another case of youth trouble

With the tragic suicide of a middle school student on Dec. 20 still fresh in the minds of Daegu citizens, the city is now faced with another shocking incident among middle school students - a rape case.

The Daegu Metropolitan Police Agency announced yesterday that they have been investigating the alleged rape of a middle school girl following a report filed by the victim’s uncle earlier this month that his 12-year-old niece, identified as “A” had been raped by 12 boys in the neighborhood over four months since August to November last year.

According to police, the 12 assailants, ranging from sixth grade to eighth grade, visited A’s house alone or in pairs in the evenings as A’s father usually works late, and allegedly raped her up to 10 times over the course of four months.

A lives with her father, who is a street vendor, and her younger brother who is in the sixth grade, identified as “B,” said the police. A’s uncle also told the police that A was raped once in front of her brother, according to the police.

“Among the 12 suspects, nine of them admitted having sexual intercourse with A,” said an official from the Daegu Metropolitan Police Agency.

“But we are still investigating as they are denying it was a rape, insisting there were no threats or violence involved.”

However, A’s uncle told the police that “the suspects indeed raped her, forced B to steal his father’s money and even made him beg for money at a bus stop.”

According to police, A’s uncle added that “they made B buy cigarettes and even condoms.”

The uncle also told the police that “the suspects got violent and hit [A’s younger brother], when he told his aunt about the rape.”

As only one of the suspects is above 14 years of age, which is considered the minimum age of criminal responsibility, police said they will charge him as soon as the investigation closes. The rest of the suspects, who are all aged below 14, will be transferred to a family court, according to the police.

“Having sexual intercourse with someone under 13 years old is considered a crime even though there weren’t any threats or violence,” said a police official and added that they are going to “investigate whether there was any reason A could not refuse the intercourse.”

Upon such series of incidents concerning middle school students, the Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education said it has already launched a separate investigation to find out the details of the case and whether the victim’s school was aware of the case and, if so, what it did about it.

The education office also said that it will come up with measures to protect the 12-year-old victim.

By Yim Seung-hye [sharon@joongang.co.kr]
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