UPDATE : 2021.4.14 수 13:42
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Notorious Child Rapist, Cho Doo-Soon, Released
by Ha Eun Kim | 승인 2021.02.27 13:04|(267호)

Cho Doo-soon, one of the most notorious child rapists in Korea, was released after serving a sentence of only 12 years. Cho Doo-Soon was born in 1952, on October 18. He is a criminal. Currently, probably the biggest issue in the nation besides Covid-19 is the fact that this scoundrel was released. Even when he was still in prison, everyone was so focused on him that they were counting down the days until he was released. People were filled with fear and anger. As everyone is aware, Cho Doo-soon was sent to jail as the culprit of the Nayoung (fictitious name) case.

In December 2008, the 57-year-old Cho Doo-soon, who already had a criminal record, sexually assaulted and grievously injured an 8-year-old girl in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province. He raped and beat her in a bathroom inside a church. However, Cho Doo-Soon was sentenced to only 12 years in prison after the court took into consideration his mental and physical weaknesses caused by intoxication at the time of the incident. This prompted people to argue that his sentence was weak compared to the brutality of his crime. The public’s objection to Cho's release led to an online Blue House petition, which is a communication platform opened by President Moon Jae-in under the philosophy "the government will answer if the public asks," urging the government not to release Cho Doo-soon.

Despite this, on December 12, 2020, Cho Do-soon was released from the Seoul Nambu Prison wearing an electronic ankle bracelet after serving his 12-year prison term. Immediately after his release from prison, he headed to Ansan, Gyeonggi province where his wife lives, driven in a vehicle provided by the Ministry of Justice. Upon hearing the news of his release, several individual broadcasters and YouTubers rushed to his house and the penitentiary. Both places were crowded with people. Demonstrators, including civic organizations, lay down in front of the prison entrance to prevent the car in which Cho Doo-soon was being transported from leaving. Even on the road, some people found Cho's car and hit it with their fists or kicked it. When the car stopped, Myung Hyunman, a professional fighter, ran toward the car and kicked it. In addition, several protesters climbed onto the car and others threw eggs and waved protest signs. Police officers who were escorting the car or who were standing nearby were hit by some eggs.

After Cho Doo-soon arrived home, the situation worsened. Many people crowded around the villa where he lived. Some people even locked the gas valve of Cho’s house and stayed in front of his villa until late at night. They also swore at the residents of other villas when they came out thinking that it was Cho Doo-soon. With Cho Doo-soon released from prison, security in his neighborhood has been increased, with more CCTV cameras installed and more police patrolling the streets. Thousands of complaints from the neighborhood’s residents were voiced, especially, from the neighbors living in the same villa who will suffer the most harm.

People raged about many things, but more than anything, they were mad about an 8-year-old child's life being ruined. The consequences of the case were and still are immense for the victim, who is now a grown-up woman. The incident has had a long-lasting effect on the victim mentally and physically. The victim will have to live the rest of her life suffering from the trauma of the attack. Also, physically, her injury was so severe that she is still recovering from it. Cho Doo-soon, the child sex offender, however, only spent 12 years in prison while his victim will suffer unspeakable pain throughout her life. It seems so unfair that the perpetrator has been released and is living a somewhat normal life again. Ordinary citizens feel awful about the incident but cannot imagine how painful it is for the victim and her family.

After being released from prison, Cho Doo-soon returned to his original home in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, which made the victim's family suffer again. The victim's family had continued to live in Ansan, but they stated that they would move to another region if Cho returned. However, Cho Doo-soon has returned, and this made the victim's family move to another city. In South Korea, the relationship between perpetrators and victims always seems to be illogical. Victims live in hiding, whereas perpetrators live confidently in the outside world. Who is this country for? Now that Cho Doo-soon is out, people’s biggest concern is recidivism. Why do ordinary law-abiding citizens have to be worried about criminals living peacefully in the outside world?

Human rights exist for everyone and should be respected. However, should the human rights of violent criminals exist and be respected, too? Cho Doo-soon is being protected by the police after being released from prison. This is to ensure his safety. However, the police must protect citizens, not protect criminals. The case of Nayoung is featured in the movie Hope (2013), which everyone is aware of. Bad memories are supposed to be erased and forgotten, but we must not forget this incident. Cho Doo-soon is a sex offender who ruined a child's soul and her life.

 

by Ha Eun Kim  news@cnu.ac.kr

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