“I was drunk”
Putting a twist on the “I was drunk” defense, comedian Lee Kyung-sil admitted her husband, identified only as Choi, 58, did indeed sexually harass a woman as alleged “but added he was drunk at the time.”
The alleged victim reported the harassment to the police on August 19, a day after she, Choi, and seven others drank together. The woman, the wife of Choi’s friend, reported to police that Choi had sexually harassed her while Choi was giving her a ride home after the gathering.
At his trial last Thursday, Choi conceded the allegation was true. “However, he said he could not control his mind and body because he had been drinking prior to the incident.”
That’s some friend and husband Choi, 58, is. Apparently neither he nor his lawyer got the memo about the “I was drunk” defense. Reading the news account of the Supreme Court decision, however, I see that the decision covers rape and not mere sexual assault and battery. I’m not even convinced that Korea’s Supreme Court set a precedent for all rape cases or rape cases in general.
Comedian Lee Kyung-sil’s defense of her husband makes me wonder whether she’s doing shtick and “but he was drunk at the time” is a punchline.
“I was in love”
The man, identified only as “A” and owner of an entertainment company, was indicted for allegedly raping a middle school student 27 years his junior.
According to evidence given at lower court trials, the man had sexual relations with the woman, identified as “B,” many times and got her pregnant in 2011. “B” was 15 at the time.
“A” was indicted after “B” reported to police that she was raped.
“A” was found guilty at the first and second trials.
But last November the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision, as “A” kept insisting he had loved “B.” It sent the case back to the lower court, which ruled on Oct. 16 that he is not guilty of rape.
“But the nation’s highest court is unlikely to change its stance on the case, which it has reviewed before, legal sources said.”
Well, so long as he loved “the woman… 15 at the time.”
“I was… Joking!”
Choi Mong-ryong, professor emeritus of Seoul National University (SNU) and one of the two lead authors of the textbooks under the National Institute of Korean History (NIKH), said he will not take part in writing the controversial textbooks after a newspaper reporter’s allegations that he sexually harassed her were made public.
Choi’s resignation came two days after the NIKH announced its plan to organize a writing team to implement the new schoolbook policy and is expected to hamper PGH’s plan to push the state authorized textbooks into schools by March 2017.
Choi “allegedly kissed a female journalist on the cheek and groped her after drinking alcohol when she visited his home along with several other reporters. The reporters visited his home because he didn’t appear at the NIKH press conference, Wednesday. Choi denied the harassment accusation but he conveyed his willingness to quit the writing team. ‘I admit I made a joke, but reporters didn’t express any displeasure,’ Choi said. ‘I don’t understand this controversy.’ ”
Choi appears to have a problem with his version of events: “On Friday, he claimed to the Dong-A Ilbo that he remembered drinking alcohol but not sexually harassing the journalist or having a physical contact with her.”
All news items are recent: the comedian’s husband and joking textbook writer broke last Thursday, Humbert Kim happened at the end of October.
In the I was drunk case, “he said he could not control his mind and body because he had been drinking prior to the incident.” Such claims are so commonplace as a defense or mitigating factor in rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment that I wonder how alcohol, which seemingly turns Korean Dr. Jekylls into foreign Mr. Hydes, remains legal under Korean law, which purports to be based on deductive reasoning.
I wonder whether any defendant has mounted an “I was drunk” defense as an exculpatory or mitigating factor in a drunk driving case. If Korean courts reject “I was drunk” as a defense in drunk driving (and other crimes) but accept the defense in rape cases, what does the defense say about the nature of Korean men?
In the I was in love case, the 15 year old girl filed rape charges. If the Korean court ruled that the sex was consensual (Korea’s age of consent being another gripe for another day), well that’s that. The court ruled, however, that because ‘A’, at the time a 42 year old man ,”loved” 15 year old ‘B’, ignoring the issue of consent, no rape took place.
In the I was… Jokng incident, Seoul National University, where Choi spent his academic career, seems to be a hotbed of sexual harassment with reports of senior faculty taking advantages of students published several times each year and needs to reexamine its culture.
The KT article included a chilling and gratuitous reminder of the current climate in Korea: “In the meantime, the National Police Agency said it will crack down on those who resort to violence and defamation against members of the textbook team.”
I have now lived in Korea for a few years, and I still SMH WTF?