Filed under: Korea
I wasn’t going to write about this for privacy reasons, but in light of the insanity and completely unfounded, fabricated gossip, rumors, and bullshit going around on various Korean blogs and places like Dave’s ESL, I feel that I have to make a statement of some sort.
The person being accused of rape and held in Busan is someone that I’ve been good friends with for four years. We knew each other back home from musical ventures and attending Buddhist meditation retreats together. People seem to think they have clear image of who or what this person is, and from the brief, nauseating time I spent reading some of the posts, I can tell you: you don’t.
First of all, he’s not a typical American in any way shape or form. He is someone who spent most of his life being shuffled to different countries under refugee status, and just recently became an American citizen. He’s a little over five feet tall, ninety pounds, and makes a point of finding something genuine to compliment about every new person he meets. The week before he headed to Busan, he spent at my house, and although he was an annoying houseguest at times, I by no means ever felt threatened by him.
He may be guilty, he may deserve to spend time in jail. I don’t know, I wasn’t there, and neither were any of you. That is for an investigation to figure out. I’m not going to recount what he told me on the phone, but I was the one he called when he was arrested, just because I’m the only person he knows in Korea who might have had a lead to a lawyer. I have no idea how accurate his version is, although from a personal character standpoint, I don’t find this person to be even remotely violent, but to me it sounded like a severe breakdown in communication between two people who were really drunk resulting in a “he said/she said” scenario that is every coed’s worst nightmare.
Regardless of whether he is guilty or not, I do believe he deserves to have fair representation and trial, which as a foreigner, it doesn’t look like he is going to get. They scheduled a court date within hours of arresting him for the next morning, with no intention of providing representation or a translator. Luckily, one of the people I contacted had the foresight to contact the embassy who sent a translator to the courthouse. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have had anything. As far as I’ve heard from him and another close mutual friend, for the initial court hearing, he didn’t have any professional representation, and wasn’t given time to find any. Since then, I think he’s found someone, at a cost of several thousand dollars. I haven’t been in contact with him for the last week, and don’t know what his status is.
I’m not opening my blog up for public debate. I’m not going to visit, read, or comment on any of the sites discussing this. I will disable comments to my blog if I have to. I wanted to make a statement on behalf of my friend, but I am not interested in having a firestorm on here. I will delete posts that I don’t care for.
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