BUSAN, South Korea—A Korean woman has been cleared of wrongdoing for biting off part of a man’s tongue in self-defense, according to The Telegraph.
Busan Nambu Police Station announced that they did not find any legal grounds to charge the woman, who bit off about one inch of the man’s tongue when he tried to rape her.
The rapist claimed the woman in her 20s caused the man in his 30s severe injury through “excessive self-defense.”
Under Korea’s criminal law, it is permissible to use reasonable force to defend oneself or others, but overwhelming “counteractions” may not be recognized as self-defense.
“Although her actions exceeded normal limits of self-defense, based on discussions with external experts and lawyers, we came to the conclusion that it can be justified according to Article 21 of the Criminal Law Act,” stated a police officer from Busan Nambu.
The incident began when a woman, who was in Busan for vacation, was sitting drunk on a street in the Seomyeon area around 8 am. The man spotted her while driving, stopped, and offered her a lift back to her hotel.
The woman agreed but once in the vehicle he drove in the opposite direction of the hotel and parked his car at a deserted place near Mount Hwangyeong around 9:25 am. Shortly after parking the car, the man attempted to sexually assault the woman, according to The Korea Times.
Things didn’t go according to plan because he lost one inch of his tongue during the attempted sexual assault. He immediately drove to Gwangnam police station in Busan’s Suyeong District and reported his tongue was bitten off.
Upon investigation, evidence indicated the act was not consensual based on footage from surveillance cameras and a dashboard camera installed in the man’s car. Investigators forwarded him to the prosecution with recommendation of indictment on charges of illegal confinement and sexual assault.
According to World Population Review, South Korea’s Rape Statistics for the year 2020 reports 13.5 rapes per 100,000 citizens, lower than the United States, which currently reports 27.3 rapes per 100,000 citizens. For perspective, the country with the highest reported rapes is South Africa, with 132.40 rapes per 100,000 citizens.