SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Yonhap) -- The number of reported rapists nationwide jumped more than 33 percent over the past three years, though the country moves toward harsher punishment for the crime, a report showed Monday.
A total of 21,116 rapists were reported to the country‘s prosecution offices last year, up 33.5 percent from 15,819 in 2007, according to the Justice Ministry report submitted to Roh Chul-rae, a lawmaker from the Future Hope Alliance party.
The number showed an annual growth of about 8.4 percent during the three years, according to the report.
The regional prosecution office in Suwon, 46 kilometers south of Seoul, investigated the highest number of rapists at 2,350 during the three years, followed by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office with 2,232 and the Incheon District Prosecutors‘ Office, west of Seoul, with 1,427, the report showed.
“In order to eradicate this crime, which causes severe mental damage to victims as well as their families, the country should impose stern punishment and crack down as well as boost education and publicity regarding its prevention,” the lawmaker said.
The National Assembly passed a law last year that allows courts to order chemical castration for rapists amid an increasing number of rape cases involving underage victims.