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Chemical castration ordered to punish sex convict in South Korea

A district court ordered chemical castration to punish a sex convict for the first time in the country since the Constitutional Court upheld the law authorizing drug treatment for sex offenders last year.

The punishment was first implemented in 2011 to introduce stronger measures against sexual assault crimes in the country.

In 2013, the Daejeon District Court filed a request for constitutional review of the legislation, claiming it violates basic human rights. In a 6-3 vote, the Constitutional Court ruled that hormonal treatment to control sexual impulses in sex offenders is constitutional.

The convict, named Kim Seon-yong, has been sentenced to 7 years of hormonal treatment, as well as 80 hours of sex therapy and education, on top of imprisonment of 17 years. Kim had been initially jailed for 15 years in 2012 for rape. However he sexually abused another victim last year after running away while being treated for a hearing condition at a hospital in Daejeon.

“He has committed sex crime repeatedly and needs to be isolated and monitored for a long period of time,” the Daejeon District Court said.

Another sex convict, whose case in 2013 triggered the constitutional review of the legislation, was also sentenced to five years in prison and five years of hormonal treatment. The offender, identified only by his surname Yim, had been convicted in 2013 for sexually assaulting a minor.

Critics of the legislation, including the three judges who opposed it during the constitutional review, have been pointing out that there has not been sufficient research into the effectiveness and side effects of such treatments.

By Claire Lee (
Korea Herald daum