Man sentenced for raping child 13 years ago

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Man sentenced for raping child 13 years ago

A 64-year-old man in Changwon, South Gyeongsang, was sentenced to eight years in prison for raping a fourth grader 13 years ago, after the victim bumped into him at a bus terminal last year and claimed to remember him.

A local court ruled in favor of the victim, who is now 23, on Tuesday, saying her descriptions were “too vivid” to have been made up. The man denied the accusation.

The victim was 10 years old when she was raped at a motel in South Gyeongsang in 2004.

The man, then a bus driver, lived in the same apartment complex as the victim and was dating her mom, who had a mental disability. The mother was married at the time. Her husband had been in a car accident and sustained a brain injury.

The daughter said she often helped her mother get around because her mother could barely even use the phone by herself. One day, she took her mother to meet the man at a hotel.

Once they arrived, the man asked the mom to run an errand for him. When he and the girl were alone, he raped her. The victim said she recalls being sexually assaulted twice more after that.

She had nobody to turn to for help because both her parents were ill. Shortly after, her parents got divorced and she was sent to her aunt’s house in North Gyeongsang.

Five years later in 2009, when the victim turned 15, she realized what had happened to her was rape and she contemplated calling the police, but couldn’t go through with it.

That changed in March 2016, when she bumped into him at a bus terminal in Daegu. She contacted her aunt and took the case to court one month later, suing him for rape and two additional cases of sexual assault. The court sentenced him to eight years in prison and ordered him to complete 80 hours of education on sexual violence.

The judge ruled that the details she provided were too descriptive to ignore: she remembered his face, the plate number of the bus he drove, his bus route and the exact location of the motel where she was raped.

BY WEE SUNG-WOOK [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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