The top court ruled Friday that the country’s elite military academy should reverse its decision to expel a cadet for having sex with his girlfriend off campus and failing to report it.
The cadet, whose identity was withheld, was kicked out of the Korea Military Academy in 2012, just one semester before graduation, for failing to confess to school authorities that he had sex with his girlfriend while on weekend leave.
Upholding a lower court’s decision and rejecting an appeal by the Korea Military Academy, the Supreme Court said “the expulsion goes against the law because it restricts his constitutional rights.”
“It is a matter of the cadet’s freedom, and there is no ground that what he did harmed the traditional custom or disturbed any military discipline,” chief judge Lee In-bok said in a verdict.
He took the case to court, and the appellate court earlier this year upheld a lower court’s ruling in favor of the cadet, ordering the expulsion to be reversed.
The case has spurred heated public debate over the academy’s decades-old bans on drinking, smoking and marrying while attending school.
Amid a growing skepticism about the effectiveness of the rules and as part of the school’s efforts to better reflect changing social circumstances, the Army is planning to ease the regulations first established in 1952.
Under an envisioned rule put forth in March, cadets can get engaged after school approval, though they still cannot marry while in school. They are also allowed to have sex if the acts are deemed morally and legally acceptable. (Yonhap)