July 26, 2011 11:40
On average one soldier a week is sexually assaulted by his peers, figures show. The Center for Military Human Rights Korea on Monday revealed data it obtained from the Defense Ministry, which show that 71 sex offenses were registered by military investigators between January 2009 and June of 2010.
In 34 cases or almost half of the recorded offenses, the accused were not even indicted. Even when they were court-martialed, seven received suspended sentences, and the cases against three were dismissed. In 16 cases, a stay of execution was given, while jail terms were sought only in five cases.
Fifty-two of the offenses were committed by one soldier against another, while six involved officers and 13 were committed by a senior officer against a lower ranking soldier.
The sex offenses usually took place in barracks, hallways or gyms, and many were committed repeatedly. Most of the offenses were committed against lower-ranking soldiers. In one instance, a senior officer sexually abused the wife of a lower-ranking soldier.
When the 265 sex crimes committed by soldiers against civilians are included, the total comes to 336 or around 18 crimes a month.
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