By Bae Ji-sook
An appellate court cleared a rapist, who was handed a T-shirt by his victim, of a theft charge Monday, quashing a lower court's decision.
According to the Seoul High Court, a man identified as Ahn broke into a flat in Gyeonggi Province in August 2009 and raped a female resident and took her T-shirt worth 12,000 won ($10) after his own garment was torn when the victim tried to resist.
Ahn said when he asked her to give him something to wear after committing the crime, she just handed him the shirt and that he had no intension to steal it. He was indicted on both rape and theft charges.
Judge Kim In-wook said, "Theft requires means such as threatening, conning, or beating someone. If Ahn had asked for her permission to take the shirt, regardless of the circumstances it is not theft.
However, since there was malice involved, Ahn may be accused of robbery or threatening behavior."
Kim confirmed a four-year imprisonment term for the rape charges only.
Ahn has a previous conviction for stealing.