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Juvenile assault cases down; sex offense, fraud cases up last year: report

South Korean teenagers committed fewer physical assault crimes but more sex offenses and fraud last year, a judicial report showed Wednesday.

According to the 2021 juridical yearbook published by the National Court Administration, the total number of juvenile protection cases was 38,590 in 2020, up 2,014, or 5.5 percent, from a year ago.

Of them, theft accounted for the biggest share at 13,845 cases, followed by fraud at 4,160, assault at 1,710 and infliction of bodily harm at 1,077.

The figures for assault and bodily harm cases last year dropped by 15.3 percent and 18.3 percent, respectively, from 2019.

It was the first time in six years the assault tally dropped since 2014, when it was at 922. The bodily harm figure fell for the third consecutive year from 1,465 cases in 2017.

But the number of fraud cases jumped by 465, or 12.6 percent, on-year, rising for the third straight year. The increase seems to be attributable to a climb in online scams involving games items.

Juvenile sex offenses, including crimes against children and the production and distribution of sexually exploitative materials, also rose by 242 cases, or 35 percent, to 915 last year. (Yonhap)