BANGALORE: A 75-year-old South Korean national running an orphanage at ByrathiBande near Bagalur in North Bangalore has been accused of sexually harassing and raping a minor girl.
In her complaint to Kothanur police, 24-year-old Kamala (name changed), has alleged that she had joined the orphanage for girls – Pease House – run by the Korean national Do Qwoong Choi in 1996 when she was 8 years old.
The complainant said that she was sexually exploited by the orphanage director, Choi, for years and another staffer, Manuel Joy Singh, abetted his boss. She said she escaped after she got married and left the orphanage in 2006.
“A Kannada tabloid recently wrote how Choi was sexually exploiting the inmates of his orphanage. This enraged my husband, who deserted me,” she said in the complaint.
Kamala said her father was a poor carpenter based in Agrahara of Chintamani, Chikkaballapur district. As he was unable to look after her, her mother and elder sister, he enrolled her at the Peace House.
“I was eight when I joined the orphanage on September 9, 1996. Before joining, I was subjected to medical examination. They admitted girls between the age group of seven and 15. All inmates were given a bath daily by the Korean, who used to touch our private parts,” the complaint said.
The woman said after 2001, her sexual exploitation by Choi only intensified. “Choi used to take me to his room and touch my private parts and sexually satisfy himself against my wishes. He used to consume some tablets which he gave me also. Though I resisted his advances, he never let me go,” it added.
“There was an office boy named Manuel Joy Singh in the orphanage. He forced me to sleep with Choi. Joy Singh once even fixed a video camera in the room and photographed Choi raping me,” she alleged.
Kothanur police registered a case under Sections 506, 34, 376 and 354 of IPC against Choi and Joy Singh last week.
Speaking to TOI on Wednesday, Choi said he has been asked to appear before Kothanur police. He said he didn’t know what case had been registered against him. “I am going to the police station. Only after reaching there I will know about the case,” he said.
Police ruled out immediate arrest of Choi, saying they are investigating the matter. They said Choi had excused from appearing before them on the pretext of his wife being ill. Several calls to Choi went unresponded.
Outfit demands arrest
Representatives of a local outfit, Dr BR Ambedkar Dalith Sangharsha Samiti, recently met senior police officials and urged them to arrest the South Korean national. “The South Korean national has allegedly sexually exploited several minor girls in the orphanage. This is the only incident that has come out. We appeal to you to stop him from exploiting innocent girls,” they said in a representation to the police commissioner.