“Fatally Beat, Choked And Attempted To Rape Victim” — 30-Year-Old Killer Escapes Death Penalty


The Seoul Central District Court delivered a decisive verdict in a harrowing case of attempted rape and murder that had been followed by public outcry. Choi Yun Jong, a 30-year-old man, was sentenced to life imprisonment for his brutal assault on a woman hiking in Seoul’s Sillim neighborhood.

The incident, which occurred on August 17 last year, shocked the community for its sheer brutality and randomness. Choi, now convicted, had “randomly” targeted an elementary school teacher in her 30s who was enjoying a solitary hike.

In a tragic turn of events, the woman — whose identity remains protected — was mercilessly beaten and throttled by Choi, who had also attempted to rape her. Left unattended for approximately 20 minutes, she was finally taken to a hospital but succumbed to her injuries two days later, leaving a void in the hearts of her loved ones and the community she served.

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The court, in its detailed ruling, emphasized that Choi had exhibited a clear intent to kill. It was noted that he applied extreme pressure to the victim’s neck for a prolonged period, even after she had lost the ability to resist. Contradicting Choi’s claim that he had only tried to “block her mouth,” the court concluded that his actions were both deliberate and fatal.

The court’s message was unequivocal: such heinous crimes, especially those targeting random women in public spaces, cannot be tolerated. The court lamented the irreversible loss of an innocent life and the indescribable pain inflicted upon the victim’s family. This tragic case highlighted the urgent need for societal measures to safeguard against such brutal acts of violence.

There is no way to redeem the damage after an innocent life was lost, and the bereaved families had to go through incurable pain.

— Court official

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The court also shed light on Choi’s background, noting that he had lived as a reclusive loner and suffered from untreated depression and a personality disorder.

The prosecution had originally sought the death penalty for Choi, but the court settled on a life sentence, arguing that it was more appropriate given the circumstances. The ruling also suggested that parole should be an unlikely option for Choi, considering the gravity of his crime and the public outcry it has generated.

Under South Korean law, a life sentence allows for parole after 20 years, but the court recommended that this provision be reconsidered in Choi’s case.

 The prosecution had originally sought the death penalty, but the court settled on a life sentence. 

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