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Jasmine Stole , jstole@guampdn.com
Published 5:45 p.m. ChT March 20, 2018


Information gathered from the Judiciary of Guam website: www.guamcourts.org
If you believe you have been the victim of sexual assault, contact police as soon as possible.
Guam Pacific Daily News

A soccer player for a South Korean soccer team charged with sexual assault on Guam after a woman told local police he raped her in a hotel asked the court to allow him to return home pending his trial.

Superior Court of Guam Judge Arthur Barcinas said Tuesday he will decide at a later time if Byong Oh Kim will be allowed to leave Guam for South Korea. 

Kim is accused of sexually assaulting a woman inside a room on Jan. 22 at the LeoPalace Resort. He was indicted on charges of three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Kim is an active duty member of the Korea Armed Forces Athletic Corps, according to the defense’s court filings translated into English. He’s also a player for the Sangju Sangmu soccer team, which was on Guam in January for training, according to a news release from the soccer team. 

“Kim is a member of the Korean Army and is currently AWOL because he could not return to his unit,” stated his attorney, F. Randall Cunliffe.

Col. Hyeon-Cheol Park, an officer with the South Korean Ministry of National Defense, at Tuesday’s hearing, said Kim is expected to be discharged from the military on Sept. 4, if they don’t add time for the weeks he’s been absent.

When he’s discharged, he will be a free man, according to Park.

Cunliffe said military duty is mandatory in South Korea.

The prosecution opposed releasing Kim to South Korea. Assistant Attorney General Sean Brown said the woman accusing Kim said she is “very scared” and feels less scared because Kim is currently on Guam. The woman lives in South Korea, documents state.

Brown also said there’s no way to ensure the woman’s safety if Kim is in South Korea, the probation office on Guam isn’t able to monitor him there. If Kim violates his conditions, there’s no way to investigate it, Brown said.

“Once Kim leaves the island, there’s no guarantees for his return,” Brown said.

Park said that if Kim is allowed to go back to South Korea, he will be restricted to the military base and they will ensure he returns to Guam for his court hearings and the trial in August. “My country will guarantee he will come back for court,” Park said.

There wasn’t an interpreter for Kim at Tuesday’s hearing. Barcinas said he will schedule another hearing when an interpreter is available.

Cunliffe in court filings said Kim’s military base is in central South Korea and the woman accusing him of sexual assault was attending college in Pusan which Cunliffe said was in the southern part of South Korea and far from where Kim is stationed.

Kim is currently on pre-trial release after posting $10,000 cash bail.



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