January 22, 2021 13:52
Cho Jae-beom, the former coach of the Korean National short track team, was sentenced to 10-and-a-half years in prison on Thursday for physically and sexually brutalizing Olympic champion Shim Suk-hee over three years.
The Suwon District Court said the offense is "grave" and deserves severe punishment. Prosecutors had sought a 20-year sentence.
"The accused coached the victim for many years and used the victim's inability to protest to commit sexual crimes by force," the court said. That Cho continues to deny the charges and has expressed no remorse was also held against him.
Cho (39) was found guilty of sexually assaulting and molesting Shim 30 times from 2014, when the athlete was a junior in high school, until late 2017 just before the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
He was earlier found guilty of habitually assaulting and hurting Shim and other athletes in his charge but only sentenced to a year and a half in jail in early 2019. The lenient sentence prompted Shim to speak out about Cho's sexual assault during an appeal and lodge another complaint.
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