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South Korean Supreme Court Child Abuse Case Ruling That May Shock You

Daniel Kim Views  

Three years of sexual abuse by parents and acquaintances
Interview was recorded by a statement analyst at the prosecutor’s request

The Supreme Court has ruled that statements recorded by a statement analyst affiliated with the prosecution during an investigation cannot be used as evidence in court. Statement analysts evaluate the credibility of statements related to a case upon request from the trial.

According to the legal community, on the 22nd, the Supreme Court 2nd Division confirmed last month’s original sentence of 8 years imprisonment for a woman charged with violating the Child Welfare Act and other charges.

The photo is unrelated to the article. [Photo=iNews24 PhotoDB]

Two acquaintances of the suspect were each sentenced to 7 years and three years and six months in prison, respectively, while the criminal’s husband and the victim’s stepfather were acquitted.

They were tried for sexually abusing the suspect’s child, who is an elementary school student, from 2018 to 2021. The suspect was investigated for having sexual intercourse with an acquaintance in front of the victimized child multiple times, forcing the child to stand as punishment, and even threatening the child with a weapon.

The crimes that lasted for three years came to light when the child reported the abuse at school. The prosecutor in charge requested an analysis from a statement analyst at the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office to determine the credibility of the victimized child’s statement. This is because, under the Sexual Violence Punishment Act, expert opinion is required for the testimony of a child victim.

The statement analyst recorded a six-hour interview with the victimized child, and this video was submitted to the court as evidence. However, there was controversy in court over whether to accept this video as evidence.

Under current law, statements made by victims and witnesses during an investigation must be written in document form, such as a statement or affidavit, to be used as evidence of a crime. However, it is stipulated that photos or videos containing the content of a statement made outside the investigation process can be accepted as evidence exceptionally.

The photo is unrelated to the article. [Photo=iNews24 PhotoDB]

The prosecution argued that the interview conducted by the statement analyst should be considered outside the investigation process because it is not a formal investigation or inquiry. Still, the first and second trial courts did not accept this. They determined that since the analyst recorded the video and submitted it to the investigation process at the prosecutor’s request, it could not be considered outside the investigation process.

The Supreme Court also ruled that the original judgment was correct. The Supreme Court stated, “Considering that the interview with the victimized girl by the statement analyst affiliated with the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office took place at the request of the prosecutor and that the interview took place in the prosecutor’s office interrogation room, the video must be considered as recorded during the investigation process,” and “The video, in this case, cannot be considered as made outside the investigation process, and therefore cannot be recognized as evidence.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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