SEOUL, Dec. 10 (Korea Bizwire) — The Supreme Court on Friday finalized a 13-year prison sentence for a former national short track speed skating coach charged with sexually assaulting an Olympic gold medalist.
Cho Jae-beom, 40, was indicted in 2019 on charges of sexually assaulting Shim Suk-hee on 27 occasions at various training facilities from August 2014 to December 2017, only two months before the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics kicked off.
Shim, one of the country’s most prominent skaters, was 17 years old at the time of the first assault.
The court also ordered Cho to complete 200 hours of sex offender treatment and banned him from working at facilities related to children, youths and disabled people for seven years.
Cho was first sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison by a district court, but an appellate court increased his prison term to 13 years, saying his claim of consensual sex inflicted “secondary harm” to the victim.
“The appellate court’s sentence was fair enough considering the accused’s age and attitude, his relationship with the victim, the circumstance and the motive and result of his crime,” the top court said, upholding the lower court’s ruling while rejecting Cho’s appeal.
In 2019, Cho was also sentenced to 18 months in prison by an appellate court on separate charges of physically abusing Shim on a regular basis. The sentence was finalized as Cho did not challenge it. He now has to serve 14 1/2 years in prison.