Korea sees sex crimes surge 200 per cent in 10 years

Korea sees sex crimes surge 200 per cent in 10 years

The number of sex crimes in the nation has jumped 204 per cent over the past decade, a report from Korean National Police University showed Sunday.

According to the data compiled by the security policy research institute of the state-run university, the number of yearly sex crimes such as rape and sexual molestation came to 22,292 in 2013, compared to 7,332 in 2003.

Of these, rapes by foreign nationals in Korea similarly increased from 198 in 2009 to 390 in 2013.

The institute analysed that sex crimes are continuously increasing, while the overall number of other major crimes such as murder and robbery have dropped in recent years.

As the law enforcement authority widened the scope of punishment on sex crimes since the second half of 2014, the number of sex offences is projected to further increase, according to the KNPA institute.

The expansion includes sexual abuse through the medium of mobile telecommunication devices or SNS providers.

In the meantime, 3 in 10 defendants convicted of sexual violence in Korea receive a commutation of their prison sentence in trials at appellate courts, according to data from the Seoul Women Lawyers Association.

The data showed that the appeals courts commuted the terms of 299 (or 31.8 per cent) out of 939 sexual crime case rulings in district courts, from January 2013 to June 2014.

Among the 299 commutations, 59.5 per cent (178 cases) were reduced to jail terms ranging between six months and two years, 30.4 per cent (91) to terms of between two and five years and 5.3 per cent (16) to terms of under six months.

Further, terms for 36.1 per cent (108) of the 299 cases were changed from prison terms to stays of execution.

The association said that the court has been relatively lukewarm toward sexual crimes, stressing that "sentences should be sterner for crimes of high frequency."

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