Teenage girl flees after rape and kidnapping

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Teenage girl flees after rape and kidnapping

A 24-year-old man was arrested over the weekend for allegedly raping a teenage girl and holding her hostage at knifepoint for hours after intercepting her while she was walking home from school in Jungnang District, central Seoul, last Friday.

The suspect, surnamed Choi, admitted to the charges Monday during police questioning and claimed he “couldn’t control” his libido.

Asked why he kidnapped the girl and tried to take her to his home in Namyangju, Gyeonggi, on a public bus, Choi asserted he wanted to explain to her why he committed the crime and apologize. Police said they are not buying the argument because the place where Choi was trying to get off the bus with the victim was far from his home.

A court approved a pre-trial detention warrant for Choi on Monday.

Last Friday, the alleged victim was on her way home from school at around 2 p.m. when Choi approached her from behind and took her to a dark secluded place where he raped her. Choi later said during questioning that he had intended to rape someone the moment he left his house in Namyangju earlier that day with a knife.

Afterwards, Choi took her on a bus that was heading towards Namyangju, sitting in the back seat so that nobody would notice them. Five to six other passengers were inside the vehicle at that time, according to police, but nobody seemed to recognize the girl was being kidnapped.

An hour later, at around 3:50 p.m., when the bus made a short stop on the outskirts of Namyangju and Choi was about to get off with the victim, the teenager ran towards the bus driver and screamed, “Save me!”

The suspect immediately got off the bus and ran away. Other passengers called the police.

Referencing CCTV footage retrieved from the bus, police were able to identify Choi and learn that he left the city the following day in his father’s car, heading towards Sokcho, Gangwon.

The suspect was caught Saturday at around 5:40 p.m. in Sokcho while driving. Upon noticing that a police car was chasing him, Choi steered his car to the other side of the lane and crashed into a car that was waiting for signal. He got out of his vehicle and ran for about 100 meters (328.1 feet) before being apprehended.

Choi said he dropped out of high school and had no job. He had never met his victim before. As to why he had chosen to flee to Sokcho, he said he had no friends or family there, but wanted to drive as far away from Namyangju as possible.

BY JEON ICK-JIN, PARK JIN-HO [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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