Two policemen in Busan resigned after it was found they had sex with high school students they were in charge of monitoring, but they faced no punishment and even received their severance pay.
One policeman surnamed Kim, 33, had sex with a 17-year-old high school student he was supposed to look after and guide, inside a car after school on June 4.
The case came to light as the student reported what had happend to the school nurse, who then alerted a female officer who was managing students at another school, who then passed the case to Busan Saha Police Station.
The Saha Police Station’s section chief verified and confirmed the facts with Kim and the school, however, closed the case without reporting to higher authorities by advising Kim to resign.
Kim handed in his notice the next day, on June 9, saying he had “decided to continue his parents’ business.” He received no punishment and received his severance pay.
When the case belatedly erupted over social media on Friday, the section chief denied having had any knowledge of the incident prior to Kim’s resignation.
A 31-year-old police officer at Busan Yeonje Police Station also had a sexual relationship with a high school student he was supervising. The teenager reportedly contemplated taking her life after the incident. Whether the two had sex more than once is yet to be confirmed.
The case was discovered by a teenagers’ welfare organization that had had a consultation session with the student. When the organization attempted to verify the case with Jeong, he filed for resignation from his post on May 17, claiming that being a police officer did not “fit his aptitude.”
Yeonje Police Station said it had completely been in the dark until the nonprofit organization contacted the Station regarding the matter on May 23.
Busan Metropolitan Police Agency will probe the case to determine when the Yeonje Police Station knew about Jeong’s misconduct and why they chose not to alert the BMPA.
The Agency is also investigating whether coercion had been involved in the two policemen’s sexual relationship with teenage students, which would give legal grounds to punish the men through the courts.
In South Korean law, punishment for having sex with minors is stipulated as applicable only when the victims are below 14 years old, unless the sexual act was forced.
To prevent a reoccurrence, the BMPA will appoint more female officers to school monitoring. Female officers will be assigned to girls high schools, and male officers to boys schools. A pair of male and female officers will be allotted to co-eds.
By Lim Jeong-yeo (firstname.lastname@example.org