TICKER: South Korea to expand chemical castration for sex offenders

South Korea is seeking to expand chemical castration to include those convicted of sex crimes against minors under 19 and to fully make public the home addresses of sex offenders subject to information disclosure, an official said Tuesday.

Justice Minister Kwon Jae-jin reported the measures to President Lee Myung-bak during a Cabinet meeting amid growing calls for tougher punishment for sex offenders and stronger preventive measures following last week’s shocking kidnapping and rape of a seven-year-old girl.

The current law calls for chemical castration only for those convicted of sex crimes against minors aged under 16. The new measure seeks to expand the age limit by three years to put more sex offenders under the medical treatment program.

The government also plans to fully disclose the home addresses of convicted sex offenders against minors while updating their latest photos on a government Web site providing information about sex offenders. Currently, their addresses are disclosed only at the community level.

Also under consideration is to retroactively apply the electronic ankle law to those convicted of sex crimes even before the law was enacted in 2010 to have them wear the device.

On Monday, President Lee pledged to consider all possible measures to curb sex offenses, calling last week’s brutal rape, which left the girl with a ruptured rectum and other serious injuries, “a crime that could only have been perpetrated by a man with the mind of a beast.”

A 23-year-old jobless man living in the girl’s neighborhood in the southern city of Naju has been arrested and confessed to breaking into the girl’s home and kidnapping, raping and attempting to kill her.

Yonhap News Agency

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