Korean Law Demystified!

The More Serious Rape-Related Crimes (under Korean Law)

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If a rapist/groper (also) inflicts bodily injury to or kills the victim, the crime becomes more serious. The punishment becomes more severe.


I. The Punishment for 강간치상 or 강간상해

1. Victim is 19 or older: life (imprisonment) or at least 5 (years)

2. Victim is ages 13-18: life or at least 7

3. Victim is 12 or younger: life or at least 10

4. Victim is a relative: life or at least 7

5. Victim is a disabled person: life or at least 10

II. The Punishment for 강간치사

1. Victim is 19 or older: life (imprisonment) or at least 10 (years)

2. Victim is ages 13-18: (the) death (penalty) or life or at least 10

3. Victim is 12 or younger: death or life or at least 10

4. Victim is a relative: life or at least 10

5. Victim is a disabled person: death or life or at least 10

III. The Punishment for 강간살인

1. Victim is 19 or older: (the) death (penalty) or life (imprisonment)

2. Victim is ages 13-18: death or life

3. Victim is 12 or younger: death or life

4. Victim is a relative: death or life

5. Victim is a disabled person: death or life


IV. Additional Comments

1. For all of the above crimes, the “bodily injury” or “killing” must have occurred in relation to committing (attempted) rape/groping. This could be (right) before / during / (right) after, but there needs to be causality.

2. “Bodily injury” (상해) is a relative concept. In principle, it does not include injuries that heal on their own (within a week or so) + don’t affect the carrying on with everyday activities (e.g., a minor bruise –> unlikely! vs. a swollen+bloody nose, or painful urination –> possible!).

3. For “강간치상” and “강간치사,” the result (i.e., bodily injury or death) should have been (relatively) foreseeable. In a case where the rape victim died while trying to escape (via jumping out the window), the Korean Supreme Court recognized the crime of “강간치사” (98도724).

Thanks for reading!

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