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   Internet linked to child sex assaults
   3702    2008-05-19
Source : Joongang Daily

May 2, 2008

Police began an active investigation yesterday into a sexual assault scandal involving southwestern Korean teenagers who may have been inspired by pornographic content on the Internet.
The Seobu Police Precinct in Daegu announced that 11 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 14 are suspected of raping eight female elementary school girls.
According to police, the 11 teenagers, including six elementary school students, committed the assaults on a grass field next to a junior high school in Seo District in Daegu, some 289 kilometers (179 miles) southeast of Seoul, around 5 p.m. on April 21. “Of 11 students, five junior high school students ordered the other underage schoolboys to bring the girls,” said a police officer who declined to be named.
“We have already finished questioning five elementary schoolboys. We will continue to question the remaining junior high school students involved in the case,” he added Police said that none of the students will be fined or imprisoned because they are all under 15 years old. Instead, they will be expected to be under police probation for several years.
The case may not be an isolated incident. Police said they are widening their investigation after receiving several reports of widespread sexual molestation at the school since last November. Some school officials may have tried to keep the incidents under wraps, officials said.
According to a statement released by an alliance of 18 civic groups in the Daegu area, dozens of schoolboys in their senior year have molested underage students in lower grades since last year. School officials tried but failed to stop the assaults, the groups said. “Although one teacher in the school reported the sexual molestation, the principal and officials in the office of education did not handle the case properly,” the alliance of civic groups said in a statement. The civic groups also said the assaults were media related. “The boys mimicked what they saw on the Internet and cable TV.”
After parents of three girls reported the sexual assault that took place on April 21, the other incidents came to light, police said.



Link : http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2889309
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