TV personality Go Young-wook, who has been sentenced to five years behind bars for raping and molesting minors, became the first celebrity in Korea to face electronic tagging as a sex offender.
A Seoul district court found Go guilty of molesting a 13-year-old girl in December last year, raping another 13-year-old girl twice in 2010 and molesting a 17-year-old girl in the same year.
But he does not seem to be a pedophile considering that his victims were not children but rather suffers from a kind of behavioral addiction. Psychiatrist Lee In-soo said the fact that Go molested a 13-year-old girl last December even as he was being investigated for a similar offense attests to this theory.
Behavioral addiction is a form of addiction that does not rely on drugs or alcohol but on gambling, sex, shopping, food or other types of behavior.
Lee said people like TV personalities and politicians, who live in the spotlight and often do not have time to look back on their emotions can fall victim to behavioral addiction.
Whether it involves alcohol or certain types of behavior, psychiatrists say addiction is hard to cure since there may already have been some kind of neural rewiring. "The most important thing in treating addictions is to diagnose the problem at an early stage and get professional counseling and treatment," said Choi Sam-wook at Eulji University Hospital in Gangnam. "It looks like Go failed to recognize at an earlier stage that he has a problem."