A senior soldier was handed down a sentence of eight months in prison for assaulting and molesting a junior soldier of the same sex.
The 23-year-old soldier surnamed Kwon was initially given a suspended sentence, but the Daejeon High Court reversed the decision Thursday and slapped Kwon with eight months in prison with two years of probation.
Kwon will also receive 40 hours of sex education and carry out 80 hours of volunteer work.
According to the court, Kwon threatened his victim with a bayonet, tied him up with cables, beat him and grabbed the victim’s chest, calling them big, on separate occasions between May and July 2014.
The original court had deemed the accused could not be blamed fully for his actions, citing the hierarchical and closed nature of the military.
However, the appeals court determined that “Kwon’s actions were enough to bring sexual humiliation and disgust to an average person” and “Kwon infringed on the victim’s sexual freedom.”
Taking into account that lower ranking soldiers were unable to stand up to superior officers in the Army, and that assailing a sentry with a weapon disrupted military discipline, the appeals court called for the need to apply stern punitive measures.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org)