A Seoul court ordered the state on Wednesday to compensate the child victim of a high-profile rape case for the trauma the prosecution caused her during questioning.
The appellate division of the Seoul Central District Court upheld the court's previous decision ordering the government to pay 13 million won ($11,509) in compensation to the 11-year-old girl, known by the alias Na-young, for causing physical and mental distress while the prosecution questioned her following the rape in December 2008.
"We have accepted that the investigators' faults incurred psychological and physical pain," Judge Choi Jong-han of the court said.
Na-young and her mother filed the damage suit against the local government, demanding 30 million won in compensation for the prosecution's brutal handling of the rape victim.
Na-young's case drew heavy attention for what the public saw as light punishment for the rapist and the investigative authorities' rough treatment of the victim.
An intoxicated man, aged 56 at the time, abducted Na-young on her way to school and brought her to a church near her elementary school in Ansan, 42 kilometers southwest of Seoul. There, he raped her so brutally that her internal organs suffered serious injuries.
The offender, surnamed Cho, was sentenced to 12 years behind bars. The judge exercised leniency in his sentencing, taking into account the rapist's intoxicated state, a point that drew public outrage.
The judge also ordered that as a sex offender, Cho's personal information be released to the public for five years.
Investigators forced Na-young into questioning soon after she emerged from major surgical operations to her ovary, small intestine and anus. During the hours-long, extended interrogation, the child victim was forced to sit at an uncomfortable angle in a chair.
Court records showed that the session, later deemed unnecessarily lengthy, was prolonged due to the prosecutors' inexperience with the electronic equipment used to videotape her answers, which forced her to answer the same questions four times. (Yonhap)