Taekwondo Academy Director Detained for Rape of Pupils

South Korea’s patriarchal society has often pressured victims of sexual crimes to keep quiet. But in the last few days a scandal involving the Director of a leading Taekwondo Academy has broken out across the capital.

Protection agencies across Korea claim that sexual abuse of children is rising throughout the country, yet the government and law enforcement bodies are not taking the appropriate measures to tackle this anti-social behaviour. In fact, according to recent media reports, only 40% of around 6,000 odd suspects were tried and convicted last year. Several cases in the last few years where rapists and child molesters have received lenient sentences have caused a huge public outcry in recent years, with calls now being made to change Korea’s tolerant stance on sexual abuse.

From Seoul Newspaper:

Taekwondo Academy Director Detained by Police for the Rape of Countless School Girls.

On 22nd June, Seoul Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Mr Im, Director of a Taekwondo Academy in Seoul, accused of inflicting numerous crimes against children including the sexual assault of teenage girls, and thereby violating the Youth Protection Act. In Gangwon Province, January 2008, while preparing for a Taekwondo competition, Im is accused of plying Victim A (19) with alcohol and saying “If you sleep with me before the competition, you will fight well.” From 2007 to April this year, Director Im is accused of habitually assaulting three female students. The Police have said that in May 2005, in the exercise hall, Director Im on the pretence of measuring the student’s weight, asked them to remove their clothes and then continued their training naked.

Students who were victims of Mr Im’s abuse have said that it “was difficult to resist Mr Im’s advances because it was their dream to use Taekwondo to attend a special university” and that “he forcibly took control over every ounce of our privacy”. Mr Im would regularly check the student’s cell phones and emails to check whether they were dating and then use his findings to demand further sexual relations.

A police official has said that “from the victims statement we can learn that they were fearful that rumours would lead to them being forced to give up Taekwondo” and that “rumours of more victims would lead to further investigation”.

Comments from Seoul Newspaper:


Children, youth and the socially disadvantaged should reflect on how violence is used. Let me know their names and see their faces.


Shoot these damn people like this in our society… People from around the world come to our country committing murder or rape. Just look at the last few years.


Becoming wise is really more important than studying. Wisdom is exactly the type of self-defence people need, teaches you how to identify the tricksters and how to exert punishments.


I just can’t understand why these freaks and bastards can’t just refrain from their sexual desires.


What Scum. He really is a bastard.


I too want to live a life like this.. gulp…


Ugh. I really feel sick. This guy can’t be afraid of God


40 year old with a 19 year old. Must be a good feeling. But what a scum bag…


This is so wrong. He will be soundly punished..


From now on, my future will be in becoming a Director of Taekwondo.


I’ve seen enough. Is the guy not embarrassed?


He should be castrated.


Death for rapists.


This is the spirit of Taekwondo in Korea!

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  • Brett Sanbon

    “it was their dream to use Taekwondo to attend a special university”

    What kind of “special university” can people attend? Would they just be admitted onto the Taekwondo team of a SKY, or some other high-ranking university?

    • Kaun

      Scholarships and face value for university’s brah

    • MiTaehyeop

      I would think they mean “special” like better than average… like, would you choose a community college scholarship or a scholarship to Yale? Not that it is a special Taekwondo University.

  • TheNoob

    This is probably one of the reasons why korean suicide rates are one of the highest in the world…sad..

  • Yu Bumsuk

    I’m all in favour of criminal background checks for foreign teachers (provided immigration can keep track of paperwork) but the fact that taekwondo instructors, hagwon bus drivers, and school security guards don’t need them always convinced me that the requirement was very politically motivated.

    Brett, many kids are banking their futures on sport programmes. Various areas and in some cases schools have specific programmes for various sports and parents will plan their entire lives around them. Some parents will get a residence in my county when their sons are still in elementary school so that they can go to a middle school that has one of the best boys soccer programmes in the country. These kids spend the afternoons training and most sleep through any academic classes in the morning. Most graduate having learned next to nothing and yet most of the Korean national team have university degrees (I believe Park Jiseong has master’s). It’s high academic farce but if it adds to Korea’s medal total at the Olympics and Asian Games and increases Korea’s odds in the World Cup from 200/1 to 100/1 it’s all fine.

  • Tickle Monster


  • k

    Yu I completely agree about the required background checks being more political then anything. For instance the hagwon I worked at required them for all foreign teachers but not for the korean teaching assistances, which were around children just as much. Also feel the same way about the HIV required test for esl teachers. Why do esl teachers on an e2 visa have to have one but women who come to korea on entertainment visas (russian prostitutes) do not? Are they afraid esl teachers are going to go give aids to korean children but aren’t afraid of the prostitutes spreading disease? I don’t get it. I can easily see how sexual crimes are tremendously under reported in Korea, I can see victims getting easily blamed and shamed for reporting considering this is the same culture that also makes women feel ashamed for even seeing an obgyn. Korea also had that one case of a man raping a child and basically getting off with it cause he blamed his actions on alcohol. These students are brave for coming foreward but it is sad that they waited this long to report out of fear of messing up an academic chance…..says a lot about the crazy priorities placed on young koreans…basically suffering thru abuse is ok as long as you get into a good university.

  • lonetrey

    So, it’s kind of like the Korean equivalent of a basketball scholarship in America?

    This guy needs to get the Sandusky treatment, and sent to jail for a very, very long time.

  • Dynamicallysparkling

    However, what he did wasn’t actually illegal (except plying aclohol), as the age of consent is just 13 in Korea. As long as the sex isn’t paid for or forced it’s perfectly fine to have sex with a 13yo (search for yourself, ‘Gusts of popular feeling’ is a good place to start). This is F’d up I know, but is also the reason many sex offenders end up without conviction (that and the Confucionist patriarchal society where an old man’s word is taken as truth over a young girl’s).

    • Cuddycream

      It’s illegal to coerce a person aged between 13and 19 (western age) into sex – the legal definition is much broader than simply physical force; basically, pressure from anyone in a position of power over the young person, which is clearly the case here. That teacher who had sex with a 15 year old student a few years ago got away with it because the boy/victim refused to say that she’d pressured him into sex.

  • skippy

    Fucking Sicko!

  • Paul M

    Will we see candlelight vigils and frenzied tabloid journalism pressuring the government to reform the law regarding hagwon tutors/instructors? Probably not.

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