Korean Law Demystified!

‘Statutory Rape’ under Korean Law

True or False: “In South Korea, having consensual sex with a 12-year-old is always a crime.” A: False.

‘Statutory rape’ here is not a strict liability crime. If you (practically) had no way of knowing (he/she was under 13), it’s not a crime.

I personally find it hard to accept the concept of strict liability in criminal law. “I did not intend to commit a crime + I did not make unreasonable assumptions/mistakes –> But I’m in jail now!?!”

Having said that, I would support raising the age of consent to 16. In such case, we could also do away with the (ancillary) crime of “Sexual Intercourse with a Minor by Means of Authority/Deception.”

The problem with this crime is that it’s too arbitrary/unpredictable in its application. Also, this crime is not really based on the notion that minors are incapable of giving consent. It’s more trying to punish instances where consent was practically coerced (it might as well be rape).

Below is a tidbit I stumbled upon. (In Korea, if a piece of criminal law is found unconstitutional, the effect is also retroactive.)

Thanks for reading!

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