Korean Law Demystified!

‘Intent to Grope’ as Determined by the Supreme Court of Korea

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The Supreme Court of Korea recently reversed and remanded an appellate court decision which had acquitted a man of groping. In the Court’s view, he was guilty. The man was/is on trial for having massaged the arms/shoulders of a drunk woman in the subway. The man argued that he did so only to wake the woman up, which the Court did not buy.

Reasoning: “Intent to grope” is to be determined by perpetrator’s conduct in the light of the surrounding circumstances. 1) The man did not know the woman + 2) He had her head on his lap while massaging = Intent can be inferred (beyond a reasonable doubt).

The Lesson: We’re not God, so we cannot know with 100% certainty a person’s exact intentions. The court can only cautiously infer. For instance, would the man have taken the same actions had the drunk person been a man? Was that really the best way to help such a person?

FYI: The name of the crime in this case is “Quasi Indecent Act by Compulsion” (준강제추행). Sex crimes prefixed with the term “quasi” are ones in which the perpetrator took advantage of the victim’s (already) incapacitated state. To learn more about today’s topic, click here.

Thanks for reading!

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