The Korea Herald


Prison term sought for former day care center chief

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : March 7, 2024 - 13:58

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(Herald DB) (Herald DB)

South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday asked the court to hand down a one-year prison term to the former head of a state-run day care center who is accused of illegally acquiring the content of conversations among teachers at the center last year.

The defendant, surnamed Kim, formerly head of the day care center in Sejong City, became the subject of nationwide criticism last year when the center's teachers resigned en mass after raising corruption allegations over textbooks and meals. This included the accusation that the center fed 85 children with only 3 kilograms of donkatsu, a Japanese-style pork cutlet.

While Kim was not prosecuted for allegedly underfeeding the children, an investigation found that Kim accessed the personal computer of one of the centers teachers on June 2, 2023, to illegally capture photos of a conversation that took place among teachers on Kakao Talk. Kim also made copies of the documents shared by the teachers.

Prosecutors accused Kim of violating the Act on the Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection, adding that the crime inflicted further damage on the victims after the conversation was leaked to the press.

The defendant pleaded guilty as charged, saying "It did not occur to me at the time (that photographing the conversation) would be a crime." The court will announce its verdict on March 20.