The Korea Herald


30-year jail term sought for mother, acquaintances who beat infant to death

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Feb. 29, 2024 - 16:34

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South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday requested a 30-year prison term for a 29-year-old woman indicted for beating her son to death, with the same punishment sought for her two acquaintances who took part in the abuse.

Officials from Daejeon District Prosecutors' Office requested the court to sentence the mother, her 30-year-old male acquaintance and her 27-year-old female acquaintance for the charge of death resulting from child abuse. Such an offense is punishable with five years to life in prison, as stipulated in Article 4 of the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment of Child Abuse Crimes.

"The suspect (mother) brutally beat her one-year-old son with the others, because he woke up in middle of the night.... The pain suffered by the victim can not be put into words," the prosecution told the court.

The mother pleaded guilty but asked the court to consider that she had been facing difficulty amid the unwanted pregnancy and childbirth at a young age, and had been under stress raising the child alone with no one to turn for help.

Being a single mother, the suspect had been a victim of a domestic violence by her romantic partner. She and her infant son had moved in with the other two suspects in August last year.

Between that August and the child's death on Oct. 4, the three suspects repeatedly beat him for doing things any infant would do, such as taking a nap for too long, waking up at night crying and opening the car window.

On Oct. 4, they neglected the child for over an hour that day before taking him to the hospital, even as he had trouble breathing and his pupils were dilated.

The child died of hypovolemic shock from blunt trauma.

The sentencing hearing for this case is slated for 2 p.m. on March 21.