The convicted coach has previously received an 18-month prison sentence for violent behavior.
South Korean long-distance skating coach Cho Jae-beom has been sentenced to ten and a half years in prison for sexual abuse, according to the news agency AFP.
Thursday’s verdict is part of a long-running species scandal in South Korea. The bustle of the sport, popular in the country and successful for 24 Olympic gold, began even before the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, when four skaters accused 39-year-old Cho Jae-beom of violent punishment during rehearsals.
Cho Jae-beom had to leave the national team coach position just before the home games. He was later first sentenced in a lower court to ten months in prison. The judgment was appealed and it was later extended to 18 months.
According to the New York Times violent behavior included, for example, the fact that Cho Jae-beom broke a long time during his coaching Shim Suk-heen a finger hockey stick with a skater in fourth grade. The behavior also included mental violence, such as observing who Shim Suk-hee was talking to on the phone.
Shim Suk-hee has since won four Olympic medals. The sexual violence that brought the verdict on Thursday was against him.
While the incident that brought the violence was still pending in court, Shim Suk-hee said his coach had raped him several times. The rapes took place in 2014–2017.
I wrote about the verdict on Thursday According to the New York Times the coach denied the allegations of rape. However, according to the judge, Shim Suk-hee’s testimony was credible and the text messages sent by the duo to each other indicated an inappropriate relationship between the athlete and the coach.
Of justice the decision, made on Thursday, states that the coach used sexual violence and took advantage of the fact that the skater did not have the opportunity to defend himself against his coach.
In South Korea, the case has sparked a debate about the country’s coaching methods. Professor of Sports Psychology Chung Yong-Chul The University of Seoul has estimated, according to the New York Times, that the case could have been buried in silence if the target had not been an Olympic success.
Shim Suk-hee has said he hopes the verdict will encourage others to come forward to share their experiences.
“I hope the decision will help the victims of our community find their voices. I sincerely hope that similar cases will never be seen again in the future, ”Shim Suk-hee said in a statement.