Cho Jae-beon, a retired speed-skating coach that trained skaters for the Olympics, will spend 10 years in prison for sexual assault. The ruling was decided by a South Korean court.
Cho Jae-beom, who has trained some of South Korea's top skaters, was accused of assault of a sexual nature by numerous skaters, including former gold medalist Shim Suk-hee.
Gold medalist Shim suk-hee accused Cho Jae-beon of rape
Shim suk-hee accused Cho Jae-beon of rape and sexual assault. Following her accusations, many other Korean athletes stepped forward, anonymously and in person, to reveal their own abuse stories during their training.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that the current allegations from athletes about the high rates of violence and sexual assault are a stain on the country's reputation, and show the need for the country to unearth the secrets that have been hidden by Korea's reputation as a powerful sport participant.
A court in Suwon found Cho guilty on many charges. The courts convicted him to ten years and six months in the penitentiary. He is also required to undergo 200 hours of rehabilitation.
In its closing statement, the court said Cho sexually assaulted shim during the years she was his student, and he benefitted from her incapacity to refuse due to his influence and previous history of abuse.
Shim's lawyer says the former Olympic star is pleased with the judgment
In a statement given by Shim Suk-hee lawyer on shim's behalf, the lawyer said he was pleased Cho would reap the fruits for his sexual crimes against young Olympic performers.
The lawyer's statement said that the court judgment verifies that the defendant's actions are punishable by law. He also added that the court has sent a strong warning that sexual assault will not be tolerated in Korea, adding that the court ruling will serve as a deterrent to other members of its society.
The statement added that Shim prayed that the court's judgment will enable victims in Korea's society to speak out against sexual harassment, and will prevent more assault cases from happening.
The court in its final address said Shim endured psychological harm due to the non-stop sexual assault she faced in her childhood and adolescence.