Seoul High Court ordered police officers in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, to pay 40 million won to two rape victims, and 10 million won to their mother, in compensation after the officers made abusive remarks to them when they reported the sexual assaults.
In 2004, 41 male high school students raped the three middle schoolgirls on multiple occasions. Two of the girls and their family filed a lawsuit against the police, claiming they made the victims feel ashamed and insulted during their investigation.
The police made public some of their personal details, and insulted the victims, saying, ``My hometown is Miryang, and you girls have brought disgrace on the city.''
A lower court had found the officers guilty of revealing the victims' personal information, and ordered them to pay 3 and 7 million won in compensation. But the high court said the insults were made as they were performing their duty and showed negligence in protecting the victims.
``Their insulting remarks were related to the performance of their duty and it is apparent that the victims felt ashamed,'' the court said.
``Protecting victims is more important when victims are minors. The police also violated the victims' human rights, as they made the girls point out their assailants in front of the boys despite the possibility of revenge attacks.''