Police seek statutory rape charge for Gyeongsang teacher

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Police seek statutory rape charge for Gyeongsang teacher

Police announced Tuesday they have requested a charge of statutory rape for a 32-year-old female teacher who had sex multiple times with a 12-year-old male student of an elementary school in South Gyeongsang.

“I was sexually attracted to him because he was good looking,” the teacher told police. “He also likes me.”

Police did not specify what the student said during questioning.

In Korea, anyone who has sex with a person under 13 can be charged with statutory rape, according to Article 305 of the Criminal Act, regardless of whether the minor consented to having sex. Such a charge can carry a sentence of four to 11 years in prison.

The South Gyeongsang Education Office said it suspects the teacher has been sending text messages to the student since July, or possibly earlier. The two reportedly met for the first time in class earlier this year.

The teacher sent messages to the student such as, “I love you,” and “Come out and I’ll buy you some dumplings.”

She also sent messages containing half-naked images of herself.

The two had sexual intercourse in the teacher’s car in July, the education office said. Authorities have not announced how many times they had sex, but a few media outlets have reported that it was as many as nine times.

The parents of the student reported the teacher to police and the education office when they saw the text messages she had sent him.

“As soon as the report came in, we suspended the teacher and started psychological counseling for the student,” said an employee of South Gyeongsang Education Office. “We’re strongly considering firing the teacher given the seriousness of her offense.”

The teacher is married, with two children aged 4 and 6. Her acquaintances told police she did not seem to get along with her husband.

BY LEE EUN-JI, ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]

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