Couple allegedly responsible for death of niece taken to courtThe couple who allegedly abused their niece to death made a belated apology to the victim on Wednesday.
The husband and wife, both in their 40s, were taken to the Suwon District Court Wednesday afternoon, which was scheduled to review a request for an arrest warrant and decide whether to issue the warrant to detain the couple.
The couple are accused of having beaten their 10-year-old niece who lived with them with a plastic broom and other objects and repeatedly throwing her into their bathtub until she stopped breathing on Monday.
According to the Yongin Dongbu Police Precinct, the girl lost consciousness after being forcibly dunked in and out of a bathtub full of water several times Monday afternoon before being transported by paramedics to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead due to secondary shock.
Her death was reported to police as a child abuse case after doctors found bruises all over her body. The couple reportedly told police that they had inflicted physical punishment and kinds of water torture on the girl as a punishment for not being obedient or potty trained.
Detailed results of an autopsy to determine the exact cause of her death are expected in about two weeks.
The girl was said to have been living with her mother's elder sister and her husband since late October or early November last year due to the mother's work life and other personal reasons.
The girl had reportedly lived with her birth parents in another area of Yongin, Gyeonggi, and attended school normally before moving into her aunt's house, police said.
This is the second fatal child abuse case in two months to make headlines in Korea. In January, an adoptive mother from Seoul was indicted on charges of child abuse resulting in the death of a 16-month-old baby girl who was adopted in February last year and died a few months later in October of severe abdominal injuries and internal bleeding.
BY CHAE HYE-SEON [firstname.lastname@example.org]