SEOUL • A Seoul court sentenced an adoptive mother to life in prison on Friday for abusing and killing a 16-month-old girl named Jeong-in.
Her husband was sentenced to five years in prison for neglecting the abuse.
The woman, surnamed Jang, was indicted last December on charges of habitually abusing her adopted daughter between March and October last year and causing her death.
The girl died on Oct 13 after being taken to hospital with injuries.
When the toddler was taken to an emergency room at a western Seoul hospital, she was already in a state of cardiac arrest.
The adoptive father surnamed Ahn was also indicted without detention for neglecting to take action despite allegedly being aware of his wife’s abuse.
During the investigation, Jeong-in was found to have suffered bodily damage such as severe abdominal injuries and internal bleeding due to Jang’s violence.
Prosecutors demanded that Jang be sentenced to death for the killing and Jang’s husband be sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for neglecting the abuse.
Jang’s lawyer said she admitted to the continued assault on her adopted daughter but insisted that Jang did not step on the child’s abdomen on the day of her death.
The lawyer pleaded for mercy for Ahn, saying he was not aware of the assault.
Jang also reportedly submitted a letter of apology to the court, saying her husband did not know about the entirety of the abuse.
The sidewalks in front of the Seoul Southern District Court were filled with citizens from all over the country holding signs that read “Death penalty for the adoptive parents” and “Demons who killed 16-month-old baby”.
THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK