In the Korea Times the other day, I noted a story which is drawing a lot of attention here in Korea. It was a topic of conversation at work today with both the Koreans and the foreigners wondering just why the teacher wasn’t arrested. You can read the story by clicking here.
In the 1990s, Americans were rivited by the story of Mary Kay Letourneau, a sixth grade teacher who had a sexual relationship with one of her students. She was arrested, brought to trial and found guilty. She was imprisoned from 1997 to 2004 and bore two children by her former student. (Strangely enough, she’s gotten out of jail and married her former student who is, now, of age.)
A 33 year-old Korean teacher has been found having an inappropriate relationship with a 15 year-old student. She is married and has a child in elementary school. When the boy’s mother found evidence of the relationship by means of text messages her son received on his cell phone, she quite understandably filed a complaint with the police. While the school is taking steps to fire the teacher, the police cannot arrest the teacher nor can the prosecutor file charges. It is because the age of consent for sex in Korea is 13. Since the boy consented, there is nothing that the police can do. Interestingly enough, Korean law prohibits marriage until the age of majority.