September 24, 2011

KOREA: Number of sexual assaults by elderly up

SEOUL, Korea / The Korea Times / News / September 22, 2011

By Lee Hyo-sik

A growing number of male senior citizens here are found to have committed sexual assaults, particularly against minors.

According to the data submitted by the National Police Agency to Rep. Kim Tae-won of the Grand National Party (GNP), Thursday, the number of sexual assaults perpetrated by those aged over 65 jumped 32.5 percent to 925 in 2010 from 698 a year earlier.

``We used to think that crime rates among the elderly would be lower than other age brackets. But such stereotypes can’t even be called a stereotype. More and more senior citizens have become a perpetrator of rape and other sex crimes in recent years reflecting Korea’s rapidly aging population,’’ Rep. Kim said.
Illustration by courtesy of societyinkorea

On Sept. 14, an 81-year-old man was sentenced to imprisonment for three years and six month for sexually molesting a six-year-old girl in Busan in April. He was also ordered to wear an electronic anklet for six years after he is released from prison.

In June, a 71-year-old man was also put behind bars for 11 years for raping a mentally-disabled 12-year-old girl in the southeastern port city.

``More senior citizens have committed not only sexual assaults, but also murders and other brutal crimes. To rein in such offenses, the society should introduce a whole new set of crime prevention measures. We also need to pay more attention to improving the livelihoods of the elderly,’’ the GNP lawmaker said.

Crimes committed by senior citizens totaled 136,238 in 2010 across the country, up 34.6 percent from 101,225 in 2006.

By category, violence topped the list, followed by theft, sexual assault, murder and burglary.

By municipality, the largest number of crimes was committed in Seoul, followed by Gyeonggi Province, Busan, North Gyeongsang Province and South Gyeongsang Province.

Lee Hyo-sik

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