Tuesday, August 16, 2016

[EDITORIAL] 160811 There should be severe punishment for false allegations in accusation cases of sexual violence

On the past [August] 8th, Seoul Gangnam Police Station disclosed that they will be forwarding their case to prosecutors upon conceding the charge of false allegations toward the female who accused singer-and-actor Park Yuchun of sexual assault. There has been quite a stir with a series of sex scandals with famous celebrities including Park Yuchun, Lee Jin-wook, others recently. These celebrities have received the public’s loves and should set an example more than ordinary people even do in their private lives, as public figures; but the act of tarnishing their reputation to the public’s trust due to inaccuracies is reprehensible. However seeing this case, we feel it has reached to the brink where there also is a need to prevent them from being dishonestly accused under false pretenses in regards to a sexual violence case.
Sexual violence crimes are serious crimes that bring great damages, to the extent of killing a victim’s character, as a crime that infringes upon the victim’s sexual self-determination[/independence] and right for the pursuit of happiness. It tries to raise the alarm in regards to such sexual violence cases, to enact the ‘Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. of Sexual Violence Crimes’ (shortened hereby to the Act on Special Cases of Sexual Violence) from April 15, 2010 that’s supposed to prevent this, and to do an aggravated punishment in regards to sexual violence crimes. But when there happens to be a victim who becomes falsely accused due to the act of abusing the legislative intent of this Act on Special Cases of Sexual Violence, the side effects must be rectified no matter what, too.
With the police’s investigation results in the scenario of Park Yuchun’s case, some of the accusers have been indicted under the suspicions of false allegations; and also in the scenario of Lee Jin-wook’s case, the police are in the middle of investigating whether false charges were made or not after he was cleared of suspicions. In the scenario of sexual violence crimes, the nature is considerably dependent upon the victim’s statement, and not only that, but if it was in a photo of the injured region or a diagnosis of bodily harm, etc.; an investigation would be conducted once charges were acknowledged. Although a suspect in this process has the difficulty of having to try to prove his own innocence when the questioning with the victim was not done properly, because of the protection provision for a victim of the Act on Special Cases of Sexual Violence; in the scenario where accusations where made after some time, it is also a virtually impossible scenario where there is proof from back then. In addition, there are a lot of scenarios where the mere fact that one was involved in a sexual violence crime concludes with a hurried agreement, before making accusations or after making accusations; even when it is different from the truth, on account of one being mortally wounded in image.
The famous celebrities in the scenarios of these cases had appointed lawyers to fully prove their innocence. However there may be the scenario where an ordinary person does not have a defense properly to facing charges and get punished under false allegations, based on their situation to be unable to appoint a lawyer. The necessity to protect victims who have been in sexual violence crimes and severely punish criminals definitely exists. However it is also necessary we should make sure it does not happen to a victim who’s falsely accused by another due to this. Therefore, investigative agencies have to indict based on actively investigating in an accusation case of sexual violence crime and toward whether the accuser’s allegations are false or not, no matter what; and in the courts, as severe punishment to this, the Act on Special Cases of Sexual Violence will display its functions properly then.
The Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment, etc. of Sexual Violence Crimes is a Special Criminal Act of the Republic of Korea which aims to contribute to a strong social order in ensuring a victim’s life and personal safety in a sexual violence crime by stipulating it as a special case concerning the penalties and the process of a sexual violence crime.
Sources: Law Times + Korean Wikipedia
Translations by: rilanna of JYJ3

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