Okay, the headline may be a little oversold, since I have translated other cases where the defense was look at skeptically. Still, this is the first case I’ve read of in which a judge so forcefully rejected a defendant’s assertions of exculpatory intoxication. Original article in Korean is here.
On January 7 Judge Kang Eul-hwan of the Seoul District Court’s 11th criminal division sentenced 26-year-old Mr. Yang to five years in prison, 40 hours of treatment, and five years of sex offender registration for sexually assaulting a six-year-old girl.
The judge said that “the court recognizes that the defendant sexually assaulted a six-year old-girl and even robbed her, and as for his assertion that he was mentally impaired due to being intoxicated, this assertion is difficult to accept because he was videotaped riding a motorcycle at the time of the crime.”
The judge further explained the sentence, saying that “the court takes into consideration the age of the victim, the attempted sexual assault, and that an agreement was reached with the victim’s parents.”
Mr. Yang attempted to sexually assault “A” (six years old at the time), an elementary school student from a multicultural family, as she was walking home after playing outside in a residential area in the Jangan-dong area of Dongdaemun-gu at approximately 12:20 pm last June 26, and stole from her a gold ring and 40,000 Vietnamese dong (2,500 won).
Mr. Yang fled to Jeju-do as soon as the police began looking for him, and was arrested while in hospital after slashing his left wrist.