“The Crucible” is a film adaptation of a book written by Gong Ji Yong, which is based on a true story. The story is about the horrifying rapes of disabled students attending Gwangju Inhwa School, which were perpetrated by some of the school’s staff. The film has had tremendous success, with 1.2 million viewers in its first week.
The crimes came to light in 2005, and began in 2000. While six school officials were indicted, only two of them faced any actual jail time, spending less than a year behind bars. To make matters worse the school is still open, and one of the suspects continues to work at the school to this day.
The film has stirred a lot of anger in South Korea, dominating Twitter feeds and lead to Daum users creating a petition to further investigate the matter that has garnered 440,000 signatures.
Public officials have taken notice of the outrage, re-opening the case and launching a new investigation headed by a special team. South Korea’s ruling party chief, Hong Joon-Pyo, also called for new measures that would ensure that sex offenders can’t get away with their crimes.
“Sex offenders sometimes bend the rules under which they cannot be prosecuted without a complaint by victims. To get lighter punishments, they force the victims to sign an agreement to drop their charges. Such a bad practice should be eradicated,” Hong said.
Hopefully this incident leads to stronger protections for victims of sex crimes, as it’s obvious that the current set of laws isn’t doing enough.