Strict ruling on false rape accusationA 31-year-old woman surnamed Yoon was working as a bar waitress when she met a man surnamed Kim in September last year. They eventually started going on dates after work.
One day while lying in bed together, Yoon asked Kim if he was considering getting married.
Contrary to her expectations, Kim replied, “I don’t want marriage. I only want to date.”
Upset that Kim wasn’t taking their relationship seriously, the next day she went to Gangnam Police Precinct in southern Seoul and filed a report that he had raped her twice. She made the same accusation to a sex crime victim support center.
In response, Kim filed a lawsuit against Yoon with the police for making a false accusation, insisting the sex was consensual.
Yoon dropped the charge against Kim after he filed the lawsuit.
Kim, however, persisted.
On Wednesday, the Seoul Central District Court said they sentenced Yoon to 10 months in prison for making a false accusation.
The court said it judged that Yoon lied to the police because her testimony regarding the rape was inconsistent.
“A person who is accused of a sex crime like rape generally suffers huge mental and physical distress until the case is completely solved, especially since courts in the country have been strengthening the level of punishment against sex crime offenders due to serious sex crimes the society had in past few years,” Judge Lee Sang-ho from the court said in the ruling. “Yoon clearly distressed Kim and disturbed the public order.”
Under the law, a person making false accusations is subject to six months to two years in prison, but many courts were lenient, giving probation or imposing fines.
But when those false accusations were related to sex crimes the courts began applying heavier punishment last year.
According to the Supreme Court, a total of 111 women have been convicted of making false accusations about sex crimes from January last year to June this year. Sixty-five of them received probation and 25 of them were sentenced to jail, while 20 were ordered to pay a fine and one was given a suspended sentence.
In the ruling, the court read the petition that Kim had submitted to the court.
“My entire life was almost ruined by Yoon,” Kim was quoted as saying in the petition. “I still receive psychotherapy and I don’t see people the way I used to because I have social phobia and I can’t concentrate on my work because of this incident.”
In Goyang, Gyeonggi, one university girl was sentenced to a year in prison for the same charge. She hooked up with a man, but when he didn’t answer her calls, she reported to the police that she was raped.
After she was questioned by prosecutors, she eventually confessed it was a lie and that their sex was consensual.
BY KIM KI-HWAN, KWON SANG-SOO [firstname.lastname@example.org]
More in Social Affairs
As life is upended by the pandemic, inequalities deepen in Korean society
Daily cases hit 583 and aren't declining soon
Mastermind of sex abuse ring sentenced to 40 years
DP wants parliamentary probe of prosecutor general
Symposium illuminates Asian countries' responses to pandemic