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[Newsmaker] Infamous child rapist to be released in December

Cho Doo-soon (MBC
Cho Doo-soon (MBC "True Story")
Infamous child rapist Cho Doo-soon is set to be freed from jail in December after completing his prison term.

Cho, who brutally assaulted an 8-year-old girl in 2008, will be released Dec. 13 from a correction facility in Cheongsong, North Gyeongsang Province, where he has been imprisoned for 12 years.

The criminal’s scheduled return to society has been a source of fear for many here -- parents in particular. Over the past years, scores of public petitions have been submitted to various platforms urging authorities to come up with a way to keep him locked up. In 2017, one such petition posted on the presidential website garnered over 600,000 signatures.

The Justice Ministry says that while there is no way to keep Cho incarcerated within legal boundaries, measures already in place will be used to monitor the sex offender in the community.

Upon release, Cho will be tracked at all times via a GPS-enabled electronic anklet as required by law. His personal information, including the address of his residence, will be made public online. Additionally, people who live nearby his home will be notified of his moving in and out of the neighborhood.

The ministry added that Cho has been undergoing a 150-hour psychotherapy program tailored for sexual criminals since May. He had previously completed 400 hours of correctional education related to sexual assault.

In 2008, Cho, then 57 and with a criminal record of 17 crimes including rape and a bodily injury resulting in death, kidnapped and raped a young child inside a church bathroom in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province. The victim suffered severe and permanent damage to her reproductive system.

His 12-year prison sentence has been widely denounced as too lenient, as the court cited “mental and physical weakness under the influence of alcohol” in reducing Cho’s prison sentence from 15 years to 12 years.

By Ko Jun-tae (ko.juntae@heraldcorp.com)
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