Ex-bar worker who was forced into prostitution wins $5,000 judgment
By SETH ROBSON AND HWANG HAE-RYM | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 6, 2005
CAMP RED CLOUD, South Korea — A former Filipina bar worker has won a judgment of about $5,000 against a South Korean nightclub owner who forced her to have sex with U.S. soldiers for money.
In a separate, criminal trial, X-Zone club owner Hwang Sook-hyang, of Tongducheon, was convicted of illegal brothel-keeping earlier this year and sentenced to a 10-month suspended sentence and 160 hours of community service, police said.
The X-Zone club is near Camp Hovey in Toka-ri. In the civil judgment issued May 20, Seoul District Court Judge Kim Soon-han said that while the woman worked at the club from Feb. 8 to March 3, 2004, she was forced to perform acts of prostitution with U.S. soldiers for fees from $60 to $150.
This week the former bar worker, who asked not to be identified, said she still was waiting for the bar owner to pay her the money awarded in the judgment.
The woman told Stars and Stripes in 2004 that agents from a South Korean company in the Philippines recruited her as a nightclub singer early that year. However, she said, soon after starting work at X-Zone club, she and several Filipina workers were locked inside the club by Hwang and told to have sex with U.S. soldiers.
The woman said that rather than continue to work as a prostitute, she ran away and contacted South Korean police, who raided X-Zone and found evidence of prostitution.
X-Zone recently reopened in Toka-ri but now employs South Korean staff instead of Filipinas, she said.
A lot of prostitution involving Filipinas and U.S. soldiers still exists in Tongducheon, she said, but the problem has shifted from Toka-ri to “the Ville” area near Camp Casey’s front gate after a crackdown by military authorities in 2004. U.S. Forces Korea officials declined to comment Thursday afternoon.