Mom jailed for libel in med student assault case

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Mom jailed for libel in med student assault case

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The mother of a former male Korea University medical student who is now behind bars for sexually assaulting a fellow female student received a one-year prison sentence yesterday for defamation.

The Seoul Central District Court sentenced the mother, surnamed Seo, on charges of distributing false documents and rumors together with her son that the victim had led a disorderly life and had mental problems, following allegations that her son took part in sexually harassing the female student.

The two handed out questionnaires to Korea University medical students asking the other students about her moral character, saying that if she was not well-behaved then she deserved the assault.

The two defendants tried to discredit the woman to prevent the son from being arrested for sexual harassment.

The court also handed down an additional prison term to Seo’s son, surnamed Bae, for the same charge on top of an 18-month prison term he received for sexual molestation. The 26-year-old now faces up to 30 months behind bars.

“The punishment is inevitable given the two haven’t shown any sign of remorse and still denied the wrongdoing,” said the court. “We recommend the mother think about how she would have felt if she were the parent of the victim.”

Seo, who was attending trial without physical detention, was sent directly to jail from the courtroom after the verdict.

Bae and two other medical students at Korea University sexually assaulted the female victim while she was under the influence of alcohol during a group trip to Gapyeong, Gyeonggi, in May last year. The culprits took photos and filmed the assault as well.

Korea University, meanwhile, expelled all three medical students accused of the crime in September last year.

By Kang Jin-kyu [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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