Ex-skating coach to be indicted over sexual assault of Olympic star

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Ex-skating coach to be indicted over sexual assault of Olympic star

By Kim Rahn

Cho Jae-beom
Police have acknowledged Cho Jae-beom, a former short track speed skating coach, raped Olympic gold medalist Shim Suk-hee multiple times, citing text messages between the two and Shim's consistent testimony.

The temporary conclusion came after Shim requested an investigation into the sexual assault allegations in late December in addition to an earlier physical assault accusation made by her and three other athletes.

The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency said Wednesday it would refer the sexual assault case to the prosecution, asking it to indict Cho on violating the law on protecting children and juveniles from sexual abuse.

Cho is accused of raping Shim multiple times since August 2014 when she was 17 to December 2017 at seven locations including the national training centers in Taereung, Seoul, and Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, as well as the Korea National Sport University.

The police said Shim's testimony had high credibility as she gave consistent and detailed accounts about the locations and the times of the alleged assaults during four questioning sessions.

"Her testimony was so accurate that only a person who had been there would have known," a police officer said. "So we concluded the times and locations of the assaults, which Shim testified, were true."

Searching Cho's home and car in December, police seized his cellphone and tablet computer and restored messages that he exchanged with Shim via KakaoTalk and Telegram. The messages were about the sexual assaults, and based on these, the police added threat and coercion charges, implying that Cho threatened Shim to hide his offences.

"We cannot disclose details of the messages, but much evidence backs the allegations," the officer said.

In two questioning sessions, Cho strongly denied the sexual assault allegations, according to the police.

Shim filed for a complaint with the police over the rape allegations on Dec. 17. Before that, she and three other athletes had accused him of repeated physical assault and he had been jailed after being given a 10-month prison term by a local court.

An appeals court, however, increased the term to 18 months last week, saying he showed no contrition over his use of violence. Additionally, two victims who had agreed to settle the issue out of court withdrew their settlements after Shim's sexual assault allegation emerged.


By Kim Rahn

Cho Jae-beom
Police have acknowledged Cho Jae-beom, a former short track speed skating coach, raped Olympic gold medalist Shim Suk-hee multiple times, citing text messages between the two and Shim's consistent testimony.

The temporary conclusion came after Shim requested an investigation into the sexual assault allegations in late December in addition to an earlier physical assault accusation made by her and three other athletes.

The Gyeonggi Nambu Provincial Police Agency said Wednesday it would refer the sexual assault case to the prosecution, asking it to indict Cho on violating the law on protecting children and juveniles from sexual abuse.

Cho is accused of raping Shim multiple times since August 2014 when she was 17 to December 2017 at seven locations including the national training centers in Taereung, Seoul, and Jincheon, North Chungcheong Province, as well as the Korea National Sport University.

The police said Shim's testimony had high credibility as she gave consistent and detailed accounts about the locations and the times of the alleged assaults during four questioning sessions.

"Her testimony was so accurate that only a person who had been there would have known," a police officer said. "So we concluded the times and locations of the assaults, which Shim testified, were true."

Searching Cho's home and car in December, police seized his cellphone and tablet computer and restored messages that he exchanged with Shim via KakaoTalk and Telegram. The messages were about the sexual assaults, and based on these, the police added threat and coercion charges, implying that Cho threatened Shim to hide his offences.

"We cannot disclose details of the messages, but much evidence backs the allegations," the officer said.

In two questioning sessions, Cho strongly denied the sexual assault allegations, according to the police.

Shim filed for a complaint with the police over the rape allegations on Dec. 17. Before that, she and three other athletes had accused him of repeated physical assault and he had been jailed after being given a 10-month prison term by a local court.

An appeals court, however, increased the term to 18 months last week, saying he showed no contrition over his use of violence. Additionally, two victims who had agreed to settle the issue out of court withdrew their settlements after Shim's sexual assault allegation emerged.


Kim Rahn rahnita@koreatimes.co.kr


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