Police: Alleged victim limiting investigation of possible Osan rape
September 6, 2008
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — South Korean police said Thursday their efforts to investigate the purported rape of a teenager outside Osan Air Base late last month are being stymied because the girl’s family is uncooperative.
Police said the girl’s mother reported on Aug. 29 that her daughter was attacked about 3 p.m. in the bar and shopping district outside Osan.
The girl is the daughter of an American employee at Camp Humphreys, authorities said.
But a South Korean investigator told Stars and Stripes on Thursday that the girl and her family have refused to speak with a female investigator or to otherwise give information to police in Pyeongtaek.
They said the mother on Friday first contacted agents of the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command at Camp Humphreys.
Army investigators in turn notified the Korean National Police, who are now leading the investigation. The Army agents are acting as a liaison between the police and the family, said Robert McElroy, spokesman for U.S. Army Garrison-Humphreys.
According to police, the mother gave conflicting information as to which spot in the shopping district the assault was said to have occurred.
The girl was seen at Osan’s base hospital and then released, McElroy said. He said he had no immediate information on whether the girl sustained physical injuries.
Meanwhile, women at Osan have been advised not to go off base alone until an arrest is made.
One airman said Thursday she’d thought a sexual attack in broad daylight outside the base was impossible because of steady pedestrian traffic through the area.
People are at every corner, said Staff Sgt. Sophal Duong, 26, of Greensboro, N.C., assigned to 7th Air Force (Air Forces Korea).
Nevertheless, she said, it’s a good idea to heed the base advisory and not go off base alone.