Four teenagers get heavy sentences for fatal bullying on roof of apartment building

By Park Sae-jin Posted : May 14, 2019, 15:17 Updated : May 14, 2019, 15:17

[Yonhap Photo]

Four teenage students were sentenced to a maximum of seven years in juvenile prison for spitting, beating and cruel bullying for about 80 minutes that sent a 14-year-old boy, born to a Russian mother and a Korean father, jumping from the roof of a 15-story apartment building.

A court in the western port city of Incheon handed down indeterminate prison sentences ranging from 18 months to seven years to three boys and a girl, aged between 14 and 16, on manslaughter charges. In South Korea's legal system, teenagers get indeterminate sentences. If young criminals behave well, they can be freed after serving their minimum jail term.

The four were found guilty of bullying a middle school student who was dragged to the rooftop of an apartment building in Incheon on November 13 last year. He was forced to take off his pants and got beaten with his mouth and body smeared with spit. The incident triggered a public uproar.

The court ruled that the victim did not choose the method of jumping to suicide but tried to escape at the risk of death due to extreme fear and shame. "The victim was seized with intense fear and shame by a prolonged abuse and fell in the absence of other means," it said, adding the defendants could predict the victim's choice of extreme escape and possible death.
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