The Justice Ministry has drafted legal revisions to raise the jail term to 30 years for perpetrators of violent crimes, including sex offenders against children, officials said Wednesday, according to the Yonhap News.
The draft revisions of criminal law follow fierce public outcry over a local court ruling that sentenced the rapist of an 8-year-old girl, who became disabled because of the crime, to only 12 years in jail.
The nation`s current laws carry sentences of death and life in prison or a "limited prison term" of a maximum of 15 years, but there are no sentences between the two extremes.
"The decision to sharply lengthen the maximum limited-term imprisonment is part of the government`s efforts to better reflect the growing public demand for tougher punishment on sex crimes against children," the ministry said in a statement.
The draft revisions also call for suspending the statute of limitations for sex crimes against children under the age of 13 until the victims reach the age of 20, said the officials.
A growing number of violent sexual assaults on children have recently put escalating pressure on the government and judiciary to get much tougher on sex offenders.
In a related move to fight a growing number of sex crimes against minors, the government last week announced a decision to disclose the identities of all convicted child sex offenders on the Internet, beginning next year.