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Adoptive mother sentenced to life for killing toddler

Demonstrators hold signs in front of the Seoul Southern District Court demanding strong punishment for the adoptive parents accused of abusing their daughter on Friday. (Yonhap)
Demonstrators hold signs in front of the Seoul Southern District Court demanding strong punishment for the adoptive parents accused of abusing their daughter on Friday. (Yonhap)
The Seoul court sentenced an adoptive mother surnamed Jang to life in prison Friday for abusing and killing a 16-month-old girl named Jeong-in. Her husband was sentenced to five years in prison for neglecting the abuse.

Jang was indicted last December on charges of habitually abusing her adopted daughter between March and October last year and causing her death. The adoptive father surnamed Ahn was also indicted without detention for neglecting to take action despite being aware of his wife’s abuse.

During the investigation, Jeong-in was found to have suffered injuries such as severe abdominal injuries and internal bleeding due to Jang‘s violence.

Prosecutors demanded that Jang be sentenced to death for the killing of her daughter and Jang’s husband be sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for neglecting the abuse.

Jang’s lawyer admitted to the continued assault on her daughter but insisted that Jang did not step on the child’s stomach on the day of her death.

The lawyer pleaded for mercy for Ahn, saying he was not aware of the assault. Jang also reportedly submitted a letter of apology to the court saying that her husband did not know about the entirety of the abuse.

The sidewalks in front of the Seoul Southern District Court were filled with citizens from all over the country holding signs that read “Death penalty for the adoptive parents” and “Demons who killed 16-month-old baby.”

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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