2 teens sent to prison for S. Korean bullying suicide
updated 9:41 AM EST, Mon February 20, 2012
- The 15-year-olds were sentenced to at least 3 years in prison
- Their classmate committed suicide in December after bullying
- The two students were named in the classmate's suicide note
Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- 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.
Beginning in April 2011, the two forced the victim to play online games on their behalf, took the game winnings and beat him frequently, according to the court.
The teens also admitted to taking food from the victim's home, pushing his head into the sink and forcing him to eat biscuits off the ground, the court said.
Battling South Korea's bullies
The victim killed himself by jumping off a building last December, naming his assailants in a suicide note.
The incident sent shock waves across the country and led to police and prosecutors cracking down on school bullying.
While neither of the plaintiffs have a criminal record, the court said in a statement, prison terms were issued because of the outcome and seriousness of the crime and high public criticism.
The parents of the bullied student, who are both schoolteachers, filed suit earlier this month against the school, its head teacher and principal, and the parents of both convicted middle school students, Yonhap said.
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