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[Newsmaker] Officials on alert over release of infamous child rapist

Dec. 11, 2020 - 13:05 By Ko Jun-tae
Police officers patrol near a security checkpoint in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, on Thursday, just two days before the scheduled release of infamous child rapist Cho Doo-soon. (Yonhap)
Local authorities are on alert with the scheduled release of infamous child rapist Cho Doo-soon less than 24 hours away, as they seek to protect nearby residents and prevent possible acts of revenge against him.

Cho, 68, will be released Saturday morning after serving 12 years in prison for brutally assaulting an 8-year-old girl in 2008. It is not known which correctional center he will be released from, but he will be set free between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m.

Upon release, Cho will be tracked at all times via a GPS-enabled electronic anklet for the next seven years as required by law. His personal information, including the address of his residence, will be available to the public online.

People who live nearby in Ansan, Gyeonggi Province, will be notified when he moves in and out of a neighborhood. Officials are moving to bar Cho from consuming alcohol, coming close to children’s facilities and staying outdoors in the late hours to prevent him from committing more crimes after release.

The Ansan city government and local law enforcement have been installing more surveillance cameras and preparing police power to keep eyes on Cho at all times, as the possibility of recidivism remains.

His fellow inmates have said in local interviews that Cho remains violent. Cho has also been doing pushups and situps while in solitary confinement, they said.

Criminal psychology researchers at Kyonggi University concluded that Cho has a 76 percent chance of reoffending. A big data analysis found that the sex offender has alcohol issues and still cannot control his anger.

The Ansan city government has installed 15 more surveillance cameras near his expected residence and improved lighting for 30 areas near the apartment. The city is also planning to dispatch 12 security officers to patrol the area at all times and install more security devices in the future.

The Ministry of Justice is contemplating how to release Cho to society, as threats of vengeance have been issued by many on social media against him.

Cho could be escorted in a private vehicle to his apartment instead of leaving him to use public transportation. The ministry is in discussions with police and correctional officials to find ways to keep him safe after release.

Public anger against Cho remains high, as evidenced by a number of public petitions demanding Cho be imprisoned or monitored for life, with some arguing for the death penalty for crimes against minors.

As his location will be made public, many social media users have blatantly said they will come to Cho’s residence and violently assault him for the evil acts against children he perpetrated.

Police have emphasized that acts of violence against Cho could be criminally penalized, as he will enjoy the same basic rights as any other person here upon being released from prison.

By Ko Jun-tae (