Tag Archives: crime


Police: South Korean Professor Forced Former Student to Eat Feces

Pictured above: Seongnam Jungwon police station in Gyeonggi-do Province. (Photo courtesy of hyolee2/Wikimedia Commons)

by HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said Tuesday they have arrested a university design professor for forcing a former student to eat human feces and subjecting him to other cruel acts.

The alleged violence and abuse began in 2013 when the ex-student was working as an employee at the professor’s non-profit organization, according to a statement from Seongnam Jungwon police station just south of Seoul.

The professor and three other employees, all former students, allegedly beat the victim with a baseball bat and other weapons over what they said were professional mistakes and poor character. Two of those former students have also been arrested, police said.

The defendants also placed plastic bags over the victim’s head and filled them with pepper spray and forced him to eat their feces and drink their urine from plastic bottles on 16 different occasions, police said, describing the victim as a “modern-day slave.”

The victim put up with it because he hoped the professor would help him become a professor, too, according to police.

Authorities did not release the names of the victim or his alleged assailants.

Attempts to reach the victim were unsuccessful. Police denied an AP request to interview the professor.

The professor also forced the victim to work at a restaurant and took his salary, police said.

Authorities became aware of the case after getting a tip from an employee at the victim’s restaurant.

The non-profit run by the professor publishes academic journals and hosts forums on topics related to design, according to police.

Teachers frequently used corporal punishment to discipline South Korean students in the past, but the practice has faded dramatically in recent years.


Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Seoul Police Arrest Korean American for Taking Upskirt Photos

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

A Korean American man was arrested in Seoul’s Yeongdeungpo District for allegedly taking upskirt photographs of a woman near a subway station on June 1, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The suspect, identified only by his surname Kim, was in the act of taking photos under a woman’s skirt when she noticed and screamed at him. Kim fled, only to be apprehended by a nearby off-duty police officer.

According to Yonhap, Kim “barely speaks Korean” and had demanded to be allowed to return to the United States during the investigation. Although Kim is currently not in police custody, the police have referred the case to prosecutors and requested them to charge Kim with violating laws on sexual violence.


Featured image via AFP

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Friends, Family of Murdered South Korean Woman Seek Justice

by JAMES S. KIM | @james_s_kim

Friends and colleagues of Sunny Kim, a 26-year-old South Korean woman who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, have launched a GoFundMe campaign to help her family with funeral and legal costs.

On May 22, Kim’s ex-boyfriend, identified only by his surname Lee, turned himself into South Korean police and confessed to killing Kim before burying her body in the mountains and impersonating her for over two weeks.

Kim is remembered as a smart and loving daughter, sister and friend. She graduated from University at Albany, SUNY in 2011 with a degree in Economics and East Asian Studies.


During her time at Albany, Kim was a member of the Kappa Phi Lambda – Upsilon chapter. Her fellow sisters began the GoFundMe campaign last Thursday to help her family with funeral and legal costs. Since then, the campaign has raised over $27,000 from more than 700 donors. Kim’s sorority sisters also created a blog to share the “Story of Sunny” and raise awareness of Kim’s murder.

After moving back to South Korea, Kim was working as an English-language instructor in Busan when she met Lee, who at the time was one of her students, according to the South Korean crime and investigation TV series, Real Story Eye. The two eventually began dating.

리얼스토리 눈.E287..150527. by ufo-d

However, Kim’s relationship with Lee began taking a turn for the worse. Kim began confiding to her friends about the difficulties she faced in her relationship, including multiple instances of abuse. Kim’s friends later told investigators that she had privately shared photos of what appeared to be multiple bruises on her face as well as broken fingers allegedly sustained by attacks from Lee.

Kim 2In a message to her close friend, Kim worried about what her students would think if they saw her bruised face.

On May 2, when Kim was back in Seoul, she sent a message to her family that read, “I got a job, let’s get together soon.” Sadly, Kim was unable to celebrate with her family, as Lee had followed her back to her apartment that evening and strangled her in her sleep. She had recently broken up with him.

The next day, Lee packed Kim’s body into a large wheeled luggage bag. He rented a car and drove south into the mountains near Cheongpung Lake in Chungcheong, according to the police. He buried Kim’s body, which was still inside the bag, and covered it with a layer of cement and napthalene to mask any scent.

Lee BagSecurity cameras caught Lee at a rental car company with the bag containing Kim’s body.

To avoid suspicion, Lee used Kim’s smartphone to impersonate her, posting on social media and even communicating with her family and friends for weeks. He even messaged the company that had recently hired Kim that she was returning to the U.S. to continue her studies.

MessageOn the left, Kim’s KakaoTalk message to her younger brother, compared to Lee’s impersonation.

Kim’s parents soon received a notice over the apparent breach of contract, which only increased their efforts to get in contact with their daughter and find out where she was. Backed into a corner, Lee eventually called the police on May 22, confessing to killing her and burying her body. He also apparently attempted to kill himself, and he had lost a lot of blood by the time police reached him.

But Kim’s family isn’t buying the suicide attempt, claiming that Lee is trying to garner sympathy from the authorities for a lighter punishment. They have asked that Lee be charged with nothing short of premeditated murder.


Images via GoFundMe

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South Korea’s Prime Minister Resigns Over Bribery Scandal

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Prime Minister Lee Wan-koo of South Korea formally resigned on Monday amid growing suspicions that he accepted an illegal cash donation from a businessman, reports the New York Times.

Lee offered to step down from his position last week, just two months after taking South Korean government’s No. 2 post. He is the second prime minister to resign under President Park’s rule. His predecessor, Chung Hong-won, had resigned after the Sewol ferry disaster.

“I have a heavy heart for leaving many things to be done to you and not completing the mission given to me,” Lee said in a brief farewell speech.

The prime minister has been at the center of a bribery scandal involving a the late construction tycoon Sung Wan-jong and eight high-profile political figures, mostly close associates of Park. Before committing suicide earlier this month, Sung, who was facing arrest on corruption charges, told a local newspaper that he gave 30 million won ($27,390) to Lee when he was running for a parliamentary seat in 2013.

Police also found a handwritten note inside Sung’s pocket that listed names of several government officials, including Lee, alongside numbers that allegedly indicate bribery sums.

Lee strongly denied bribery allegations, but the ruling Saenuri party pressured him to resign. According to Yonhap News Agency, the main opposition party, the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, also threatened to impeach the prime minister over the scandal.

President Park accepted Lee’s resignation on Monday after returning from her South American tour. However, she has yet to announce Lee’s replacement.

The bribery scandal is a huge blow to Park’s government, which is still struggling to recover from public criticism of its poor handling of last April’s ferry disaster, which killed more than 300 people, mostly high school students.

Last week, thousands of demonstrators marched the streets of Seoul, protesting the government’s failures during the Sewol ferry tragedy. Riot police deployed water cannon and pepper spray to break up the crowds.

This past weekend, thousands of unionized workers rallied in cities nationwide to protest against President Park’s labor policies and plans to reform the pension system.


Featured image by Reuters/Kim Hong-ji


South Korea Charges a Woman with Attempted Rape for the First Time Ever

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

A 45-year-old woman has been indicted for attempting to rape a man, making her the first woman to face such charges in South Korea, reports Yonhap News Agency.

The Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office said on Friday that the indicted woman, identified only by her surname Jeon, attempted to rape her 51-year-old ex-boyfriend after allegedly drugging him at her home last year.

The two first met at a bicycle club in 2011 and dated for four years, although the man was married at the time with children. When the man tried to break up with Jeon last August, she coerced him to meet her for the last time in her home, reports the Korea Times. There, Jeon allegedly served him tea spiked with Zolpidem, a potent sleeping pill.

Once he lost consciousness, Jeon stripped and shackled him to the bed with rope and towels, with the intention of having sex with him, said the prosecution. She also allegedly struck the man with a hammer after he suddenly woke up and tried to escape.

This is the first time a woman has been indicted for attempted rape in South Korea since the country revised its sex crimes law in June 2013 to recognize adult men as potential victims of sexual assault. Prior to the revision, only women could be legally defined as victims, making it impossible for male victims to press rape charges against their female assailants.

Women accused of sexual assault were usually charged with sexual molestation by force. While those convicted of rape face a minimum of three years in prison, the punishment for sexual molestation by force are much lighter.

Although South Korea has modified its criminal law to prosecute both male and female sex offenders, the current law still does not acknowledge women as rapists against adult women or female children.


Featured image via Yonhap


Four Dead in Hwaseong Shooting Spree

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

A man armed with a hunting rifle fatally shot three people on Friday in a city just south of Seoul before killing himself, reports Yonhap News Agency.

Police said the shooting occurred in a two-story house located in the Hwaseong district of Namyang. Inside the first-floor living room, they found the bodies of the 75-year-old gunman, surnamed Jeon, his 86-year-old brother, his sister-in-law and a policeman, who was one of the first officers to respond to the call.

The daughter-in-law of the deceased couple managed to escape the shooting by jumping off the second story before alerting the police. She is currently being treated for minor back injury.

According to the neighbors’ testimonies, Jeon had a turbulent relationship with his brother. He would often get drunk and demand money from his brother’s family. One witness, who refused to be identified, said Jeon and his sister-in-law were arguing outside the house before the gunshots sounded.

In a news conference, Hwaseong police chief Lee Seok-kwon said a suicide note was found in Jeon’s car. He added that the slain officer, who was not wearing a bulletproof vest and was only armed with a tazer, tried to talk the gunman into surrendering and was fatally shot in the chest when he attempted to enter the house.

Civilians are rarely armed with firearms as gun possession is tightly controlled in South Korea. Only those with government-issued licenses can own guns, which are usually used for hunting animals. All guns are also required to be stored at police substations and are only given to licensed owners during legal hunting periods, according to the Associated Press.

The Hawseong police said Jeon took out a hunting rifle from the station about an hour before the shooting, saying that he would return it after he finishing hunting the next day. Officers said they noticed nothing suspicious about the man when he came to retrieve the gun.

The incident comes two days after another gunman shot and killed three people in the city of Sejong before turning the gun on himself.

South Korea’s National Police Agency said it plans to tighten regulations on gun control by limiting the number of police substations that give out firearms to licensed gun owners and requiring owners to renew their license by three years, instead of five years.

As of last January, there are about 160,000 legally owned firearms in South Korea. This figure includes hunting weapons and self-defense guns, according to the National Police Agency.


Featured image via Yonhap


Doctor Accused of Sexually Assaulting 12 Patients after Hooking Them on Painkillers

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

A Pennsylvania doctor has been accused of getting 12 female patients addicted to prescription drugs and using their addictions as leverage to commit sexual assaults, reports the New York Daily News.

Dr. Jay J. Cho, 71, was arrested on Tuesday with multiple charges, including rape, aggravated indecent assault, criminal use of a communication facility and drug delivery by a practitioner, said the Hampden Township police.

Cho allegedly peddled powerful narcotics, such as Oxycodone, to the women for as long as five years in his offices in Cumberland and Franklin counties. After his patients became addicted to the narcotics, he baited them for sexual favors with refilled prescriptions, police said.

The majority of victims were afraid to reject the doctor’s sexual advances as they did not want to be cut off from the medications, according to the Upper Allen Township police report. The report further stated that “the manner in which Cho interacted with these patients was clearly outside the normal doctor and patient relationship,” as he would assault his patients when he sensed that they were “under extreme emotional stress from their personal lives.”

“Instead of a doctor helping or treating people with addictions, Dr. Cho was creating addicts and/or taking advantage of people with addictions for his own personal and perverted desires,” said Upper Allen Police Chief James Adams.

Agreeing with this sentiment, Hampden Township Police Chief Steven R. Junkin called Cho a predator who abused his power as a practitioner.

“There is no room in society for these predators and today, with endless hours, exhausting interviews, old fashioned hard work and interagency cooperation, we’ve hopefully removed this predator’s ability to ruin more lives,” Junkin said.

The Cumberland County Drug Task Force had kept tabs on Cho for several years after receiving information that he was a “candy doctor,” a practitioner who prescribes controlled drugs with little or no medical reason. In 2010, a patient filed a police report alleging sexual assault, but she never followed through with the complaint. Police re-launched the investigation when another female patient accused Cho of sexual assault in May 2014.

Once the victims’ medical reports were reviewed by a pain management expert, it quickly became clear that Cho had been severely overprescribing painkillers to each of his patients. His prescriptions far exceeded the amount of opiates found acceptable by national standards of care, according to the expert’s report.

Cho’s bail is set at $375,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. at Magisterial District Judge Kathryn Silcox’s office.


Featured image courtesy of Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office


Mexican Police Rescue 129 ‘Abused’ Workers in South Korean Factory

by REERA YOO | @reeraboo

Mexican authorities rescued 129 workers on Feb. 4, who claimed that they were exploited and physically abused at a garment factory run by South Koreans, according to Agence France-Presse.

After receiving an anonymous tip, authorities raided the company Yes International in the Mexican state of Jalisco and arrested four South Korean nationals after they were identified as the factory owners by workers, according to the National Migration Institute (INM). The four South Koreans are suspected to be gang of human traffickers, said Ardelio Vargas Fosado, an INM coordinator.

During the operation, the police rescued 121 women and eight men, including six minors who were 16 and 17 years old. According to Victor Manual Torres Moreno, a labor ministry official, the workers were subjected to physical and sexual abuse and toiled in unsanitary and dangerous working conditions, in which they were forced to handle materials that posed a fire hazard. They were also not given employment contracts or overtime pay, despite working more than eight hours per day with only 15-minute meal breaks.

Jalisco’s chief prosecutor, Luis Carlos Najera, told Korean news site SBS that authorities are currently investigating whether or not the factory owners committed child abuse or sexual crimes. Meanwhile, the underage workers were returned to their families. The Mexican police added that they are doing a background check on the minors’ family conditions.


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Photo courtesy of AFP