First in South Korea: Court orders chemical castration of child rapist

In a landmark ruling, a South Korean court Thursday sentenced a 31-year-old paedophile to 15 years in jail and ordered the country's first ever chemical castration.

The ruling is the first since the country passed a law in 2011 that allows hormonal treatment or chemical castration for convicted child molesters, who are at risk of repeating their crime.

The defendant, only known by his surname Pyo, was charged with having sex with five teenagers whom he met through a smartphone chat service six times between November 2011 and May 2012, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Pyo then threatened to circulate online video footage of them engaged in sexual acts and nude photos, also raping them by threatening them with deadly weapons.

"(Pyo) committed the crimes against multiple victims for a long time. (The court) deems he has a distorted sexual awareness and excessive sexual desire, which makes it impossible for him to control sexual impulses by himself," Judge Kim Ki-young of the Seoul Southern District Court said in his ruling.

The court also ordered Pyo's information be made available to the public for 10 years and that he wear an electronic monitoring anklet for 20 years after his release from prison. Pyo was also ordered to undergo 200 hours of therapy to treat his sexual impulses, the court said.

South Korea was the first country in Asia to adopt this type of treatment, although Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and the US state of California have used it for years, the report said.

The Seoul court's verdict came at a time when India is debating whether to introduce punishment like chemical castration to check crimes against women in the wake of the horrific gang-rape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi, who died in Singapore last month.

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