Abusive stepmom sentenced to 20 years in prison

Janice Hong, Aug. 10, 2016, 9:52 a.m.

The stepmother of 7-year-old Shin Won Young was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Wednesday for abusing her stepson to death and burying his body to cover up the crime. Shin’s father, who neglected the crime and helped abandon the boy, received a 15 year jail term. 

The Pyeongtaek Branch of Suwon District Court said in the ruling that it had to impose stern punishment for the accused as they caused an “irreversible outcome,” referring to the boy’s death. The court also cited how the two had admitted to their intention to kill their son. 

The prosecution sought a life sentence and 30 years in jail respectively for the boy’s stepmother, surnamed Kim, and his biological father. Kim locked up the boy in the bathroom and abused him by providing him with only one meal per day and constantly beating him for three months until he died in February. 

She also poured icy water and bleach on the boy to punish him for not being potty-trained and left him on the bathroom floor in subzero temperatures in February, leading to his death. The couple wrapped the body of the boy and kept him hidden for 10 days on their veranda before moving and burying the body at a mountain in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province. 

Shin’s death at the hands of his father and stepmother came to light early this year during a nationwide inspection on children who have not been admitted to school or have been absent for a long time. 

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