Tuesday, August 30, 2011

KOREAN NATIONAL SENTENCED TO 9.5 YEARS FOR RAPE

A South Korean national, Deokhawn Cha, 30, who choked and raped a South Korean tourist he met through an Asian social website while the two were in Brisbane (Australia), was sentenced to 9.5 years in prison yesterday. The District Court in Brisbane also heard testimony during the trial that Cha had had previous convictions in South Korea for serious sexual assaults.

Cha was in Australia on a work visa and met a South Korean woman, also 30, who was in Australia at the time. Inasmuch as the woman was also interested in working in Australia, Cha offered to take her to central Queensland where they stayed at a campground while on the trip. According to testimony from the victim, Cha drove her to a secluded area, where he asked for sex. When she refused he sexually assaulted her and also choked her to the point of expiring. He then took her to another place where he raped her.

The woman then said in court that after she was raped, Cha took her to the home of other Koreans he knew where she confided with another woman that Cha had raped her. The police were promptly called but Cha left his friends' home, and while leaving stole some $650 in property from his friends. He was later arrested at a local shopping mall.

COMMENT: Cha pleaded guilty to 11 charges, including rape, two of sexual assault, assault with the intent to do bodily harm, six of fraud and burglary and larceny. As a result, the judge in the case sentenced Cha to 9.5 years in prison.

Unfortunately, cases like this happen all too frequently. Consequently, those using on-line social media should be cautious in dealing with new people they've met so as to avoid the trauma experienced by the victim in this case. The fact that Cha was a convicted sex offender underlines the importance of "testing" new friends before being placed in a compromising situation.


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