Acquittal verdicts continue in adultery retrials [2015/04/08 11:34]

Acquittal rulings have been handed down in a series of adultery retrials across the country since the anticheating law was abolished late last month.

A man in Gangwon province, whose information was withheld, was acquitted Saturday over adultery charges, court officials said. The man was sentenced to a six-month jail term with a stay of one year for cheating on his wife in 2013. “As the Constitutional Court ruled the adultery ban unconstitutional, the defendant`s charges are no longer a crime,” judges said in the retrial.

Two other men in Daegu, North Gyeongsang Province, and Incheon, were also cleared of adultery charges in their retrials last week. The 39-year-old man in Daegu was sentenced to a two-year prison term with eight months of probation for cheating on his spouse in July 2013. He immediately sought a retrial after the controversial law was struck down.

A 50-year-old man in Incheon was also ruled innocent after facing an eight-month jail term with a stay of two years in 2012 for the same allegations. If acquitted in the retrial, all related criminal records are removed, law officials said. The Constitutional Court abolished the anticheating law with a 7-2 decision Feb. 26, ruling that the 62-year-old ban violates individuals` sexual rights and privacy.

Under the law, adultery was a crime punishable by up to two years behind bars. Any third person involved in a love affair could also face criminal charges. The regulation was only applicable when a spouse filed a lawsuit.

In the past, the court had turned down petitions to repeal the law four times from 1990 to 2008. In its 2008 ruling, the majority of the judges supported personal freedom but were one vote shy of ordering a change. The landmark ruling is expected to save thousands of people who were punished by the law.

About 100,000 people were punished since the law was enacted in 1953. Of these, only around 3,000 have been eligible to seek retrials, the law authorities said. The court grants review requests only from those who were given a guilty verdict after Oct. 30, 2008, the date the last ruling in favor of the adultery ban was upheld. Those punished can also seek compensation from the government after getting acquitted in the retrial, they added.
출처: 헤럴드미디어 영자신문 코리아헤럴드 (