A South Korean court sentenced two teenagers to prison terms Monday after they admitted bullying a school classmate until he committed suicide. The two, both 15, were sentenced to terms of three years and three and a half years. The Daegu District Court said the teens’ prison terms could be reduced by a year, depending on their behavior while in prison, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
The two teens admitted to stealing money from the victim, food from the victim’s home, and various acts of physical abuse, including beating the teen up. They also admitted to humiliation tactics, which included forcing the victim to eat food off of the ground. The victim committed suicide by jumping off of a building; he cited his assailants by name in a suicide note.
The incident has been cited as the first high-profile bullying case seen in South Korea, and has prompted police in Seoul to work with local high schools to prevent future incidents of bullying. The victim’s parents are suing their son’s school and the assailant’s parents.