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Sexually abused ex-soldier ruled as patriot: official

A former soldier who was sexually assaulted by his superior before being discharged has been acknowledged as a patriot of national merit due to lifetime compensation from the state.

The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs said on Friday that the 23-year-old, surnamed Lee, discharged after being sexually abused by the chief of staff in his unit surnamed Oh, suffers post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition qualifying him to receive 322,000 won ($298) from the government every month.

This is the first time that a sexual assault in the military was ruled as qualification for state compensation.

“There was enough evidence to prove Oh’s crimes, and doctors also testified about Lee having suffered from PTSD,” a ministry official said.

Lee claimed Oh had sexually assaulted him more than three times while he had been serving as a driver for Oh last year. His doctors claimed that as a result of extreme depression he still avoids any physical contact with males. He has reportedly attempted to kill himself and refused to return to the military camp, which later led the National Defense Ministry to discharge him.

A military court has handed down a one year sentence to Oh with a two-year stay of execution, but the military prosecution has recently filed for an appeal.

By Bae Ji-sook (baejisook@heraldcorp.com)
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