In December 2008 Cho Doo-soon raped and attempted to kill an 8-year-old girl. It is incredible she survived. But survive she did, and has the life sentence of having to suffer both the mental and physical consequences of the attack. Conversely, Cho got away with just a 12-year sentence.
Cho has a previous rape conviction from which the adult victim required 30 days to recover from her injuries. What injuries were these? Were they similar to those inflicted upon the 2008 child victim? If so, the public have a right to know of this pattern of behaviour as it will further call into question the decisions made by the sentencing authorities for both rapes. Thus far the police are refusing to disclose details of that original crime, choosing to hide behind privacy laws, which only protect Cho and endanger the public.
Between being released from his patently short 3-year sentence for that initial rape and the attack on the child in 2008, Cho had numerous arrests for violence before beating a pensioner to death for which he was confined to a psychiatric hospital for a period of 2-years. Had Cho been correctly diagnosed at the time, then the young 2008 victim would be living a natural healthy life.
For that 2008 attack Cho was given another lenient sentence of 12 years imprisonment. I would think on the day of sentencing he was seeking ways to buy a lottery ticket, as luck was clearly on his side.
The leniency was based on the fact that Cho had been drinking (alcohol). Really? If alcohol were an explanation for sex crimes, or other acts of violence, then why do the rest of us not commit such crimes when we are drunk? Whilst alcohol may be used by an offender to pluck up the courage to commit his intended crime, it is not the root cause.
The police arrested Cho the day after the attack, apparently after his fingerprints were found at the scene. This was excellent police work but there are questions. In 2008 were the police able to process such a complex crime scene and identify Cho in such a short matter of time, or was he already on their radar?
Were the authorities already aware of Cho and what he was capable of? Was the attack on the child similar enough to the previous rape that they were able to identify Cho as a suspect so early on? Was Cho being monitored albeit to a lesser degree than he is now? How long after his last release from custody did the 2008 attack on the child occur? Did somebody drop the ball?
When Cho committed these violent rapes, he was unlikely in need of sex; indeed, he is a married man and would have had access to his wife, who has always stood by him. Cho used sex to satisfy what are in fact non-sexual needs, some unresolved issue from a violent childhood perhaps. Whilst he has been described as a child sex offender, he does not appear to have a history of attacking children.
Cho would be better described as a sadist, particularly given the violent nature of the 2008 attack. Sadists are not generally motivated by sexual desire but instead eroticize violence into a sexual act. It is the violence and degradation of the victim that arouses them, and any sexual act is simply employed to support that. Although the victim in this case was a child, he saw only an object, not a person. Boy, girl, it didn’t matter.
Had he been so diagnosed then instead of a criminal justice response, the authorities could have implemented a clinical response; a mental health issue, and as such, Cho could have been detained indefinitely.
Given the public sentiment it is quite possible that the authorities did not wish to say that Cho was sick which might have seemed as if he was also a victim in this tragedy
But given that a criminal justice response was the route chosen, it is incredible that he was not charged with attempted murder, given that he literally gutted the child. Rape should have been the secondary charge. Whose decision was this, and how was it made?
To add insult to the injuries, Cho has now been released to his hometown of Ansan, the same town as his victim, who is still a resident there. In fact, they will now live less than 1km apart. How could the authorities be so insensitive? This is clearly yet another attack by this sadist on his victim, and I suspect Cho knows exactly what he is doing. Her punishment for not dying!
No doubt his human rights were cited in arguing that he should have a right to a peaceful life in his home town; but why should his rights trump those of his victim? Why is it that the rights of offenders always appear to outweigh those of the offended? There are of course many questions which the authorities should answer in order to calm a nervous public. Nobody knows if Cho is now a reformed man. If he attacks again, then we know he is still a danger to society. However, the cost of establishing this fact will be the life of an innocent individual – possibly another child.