Police had sex with students they were sent to protect

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Police had sex with students they were sent to protect

Police officers at Busan high schools were found to have had sex with the very students they were supposed to protect from bullying and violence.

The case would have been quieted were it not for a Facebook post on Friday by a former police chief that exposed two officers for having sex with high school girls and then resigning without any consequences.

The Busan Metropolitan Police Agency announced on Monday that the two police officers have admitted to having sex with high school students they were dispatched to protect. It added that it is investigating whether the men forced the students into having sex. The Criminal Act states it is legal for a person aged 14 or older to have consensual sex with an adult.

School-assigned police officers, called SPOs, were instated in 2012 after a student in Daegu who was bullied committed suicide.

In early June, a 33-year-old corporal dispatched to a local school in Busan from the Saha Police Precinct had sex with a high school girl. The student reported this to a health teacher at the school, but Busan Metropolitan Police Agency did nothing about it for weeks. The corporal was quietly dismissed on June 15.

A corporal of the Yeonje Police Precinct in Busan also had sex with a female high school student, who told a youth protection agency. The 31-year-old corporal tendered his resignation on May 10 but the Yeonje Police Precinct did not report this to the Busan Metropolitan Police Agency, even after receiving a report from the youth protection agency on May 23. The two corporals reportedly received their retirement pensions in full.

Busan police said they will be dispatching only male police officers to boys’ high schools and female officers to girls’ high schools from now on.

Busan police, whose Facebook page was popular among netizens for its heartwarming stories about saving lives and up-close-and-personal reporting on the daily feats of police officers, was heavily criticized after the incident went viral online last week.

“I enjoyed reading your witty posts on arresting criminals,” said one netizen surnamed Park. “But who is going to arrest you now?”

“This problem is not limited to Busan police,” the former police chief wrote on his Facebook post. “This is what happens when you dispatch young, good-looking police officers to schools filled with teenage girls.”

BY KANG SEUNG-WOO, ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]
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