The cult leader who appealed his January conviction for sexual assault wound up making himself considerably worse off.
Jeong Myeong-seok, arrested for sexually assaulting female members of the JMS church which he heads, received a 10-year sentence from an appeals court. That sentence is longer than the one given by the trial court.
Though Mr. Jeong had denied all accusations, the appeals court in Seoul considered statements from the victims and related evidence and found him guilty. His request for bail was denied.
The judge gave him four years over the sentence of the trial court, which had found him innocent of committing lewd acts against a victims named Kim and guilty of sexually assaulting another woman also named Kim.
The judge considered the age of the victims, their mental anguish, and the way Mr. Jeong abused his position as a Christian leader, and found a heavy sentence appropriate.
Mr. Jeong lived as a fugitive in Malaysia and Hong Kong from 2001 to 2006 and was been arrested for sexually assaulting five female church members. He was convicted at trial and given a six-year prison sentence.