Sapae murder suspect admits he wanted to rape his victim

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Sapae murder suspect admits he wanted to rape his victim

The suspect in the murder on Mount Sapae in Uijeongbu, Gyeonggi, changed his story and admitted he initially tried to rape the victim.

Uijeongbu police announced on Tuesday that they found problems with the suspected culprit’s denial of rape in the initial questioning.

“While conducting analysis at the crime scene and reconstructing the crime, we found some contradictions with the culprit’s testimony,” an official in charge said. “We then used a lie detector to find out that he actually had attempted to rape the victim before killing and robbing her.”

The suspected culprit, surnamed Jeong, confessed to having initially denied raping the victim in order to avoid heavier punishment. The 45-year-old turned himself in on Friday after strangling a 55-year-old woman to death and robbing her of cash on Mount Sapae on June 7. The body of the woman was found on Thursday morning by hikers.

According to police, Jeong brought a bottle of soju to the mountain in misery after finding out he only had 14,000 won ($11.87) left in his pocket. While roaming the mountain drunk, he allegedly spotted the victim sitting on a bench by herself and approached her from behind with the intention of raping her. Police say that after strangling her with his left arm and punching her in the head twice, he undressed her from the waist up and pulled down her pants, but when he realized the victim was dead he ran away with her wallet, which contained 15,000 won and a credit card.

Before getting detained on Monday, Jeong claimed that he “was not aware of the victim’s death” and had only wanted her money. When investigators asked him to explain why the victim was discovered with her pants below her hips, Jeong reportedly said he pulled her pants down so that she would not be able to follow him.

In the post mortem by the National Forensic Service, the cause of the victim’s death was found to be suffocation. There was no sign of sexual assault. Police say they will add attempted rape to his initial charge.

BY JEON IK-JIN [jeong.byungki@joongang.co.kr]

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