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Court issues 1st chemical castration sentence

A Seoul court on Thursday ordered the forcible “chemical castration” of a repeated rapist of teenage girls in the first such ruling since the measure was introduced in 2011.

The Seoul Southern District Court ruled that the 31-year-old should be put under hormonal treatment for three years to curb his libido.

The measure was on top of 15 years’ imprisonment, 20 years of electronic monitoring through an ankle bracelet, 200 hours of mandatory rehabilitation and online disclosure of personal information for 10 years that he received upon conviction for charges including the rape of five girls under 16.

“The accused is deemed unable to control his sexual drive, given that he assaulted several victims over a long period of time,” presiding judge Kim Ki-young said.

It was the first time for a court here to sentence a sex offender to chemical castration since the National Assembly passed in July 2011 the bill allowing the administration of anti-sex hormone medications for convicted child molesters over 19.

But he is not the first person to undergo the treatment.

A 46-year-old pedophile is currently receiving the treatment, following a decision in May last year from the Medical Treatment and Custody Deliberation Committee under the Justice Ministry.

Under the law, chemical castration can be imposed either by a court sentence or committee decision. The court can order the administration of the drugs for up to 15 years, while the latter can order it only for 3 years.

By Lee Sun-young  (
Korea Herald Youtube