Suspect in 46 rapes taught P.E. on base
April 10, 2009
PYEONGTAEK, South Korea — The alleged knife-point rapist accused of attacking dozens of women taught physical education classes to U.S. military dependent children at Camp Walker, South Korean police said Wednesday.
Police are holding Jung Ho-un — a 40-year-old with a wife and two daughters — pending trial on charges he raped and robbed 46 women in Daegu and Gumi. The alleged rapes — 38 in Daegu and eight in Gumi — occurred between 2002 and this year, police said.
A police official Monday said Jung was a suspect in 44 rapes, but police later said the correct number is 46. They described Jung as a strong, well-built, soft-spoken judo expert of calm demeanor who had a reputation as a devoted father and husband.
"That’s why people were extremely shocked" at news of his arrest last month, a police official told Stars and Stripes on Wednesday.
Police said Jung told them he turned to rape out of dissatisfaction over his sexual relationship with his wife.
He remains barred from U.S. military installations pending the outcome of the trial, Slade Walters, a spokesman for the Army’s Installation Management Command-Korea, said earlier this week.
Jung worked for the Army "at least part time" since February 1996, Walters said, but would not confirm his exact duties on Camp Walker.
"It would be inappropriate for us to comment any further on any specific details regarding an ongoing" Korean National Police investigation, he said.
The Army is cooperating with South Korean authorities, Walters said.
Police said Wednesday that the U.S. military told them informally that Jung was not suspected of misconduct during his Camp Walker employment. But, police said, they had no confirmation that the U.S. military has investigated Jung’s activities at Walker.
Police contend Jung preyed on women living alone. They said they believe his typical method was to scale gas pipes leading to their apartments, menace them with a knife, put on a condom, rape them, and then make off with their computers, cell phones, jewelry, cash and other valuables.
The alleged loot paid for a luxury lifestyle that included a Mercedes-Benz car, police said.
During some of the alleged rapes, police said, the suspect would beat his victims or force a blanket over their faces if they tried to get a good look at him.
Police said the break in the 7-year-old case came earlier this year in Gumi, after Jung logged on to the Internet using a laptop stolen from the home of one of the alleged rape victims. Police said they intercepted the activity, traced it to Jung’s Daegu home and began a stakeout.
While under surveillance, Jung spat in a parking lot, and police retrieved the saliva. Lab tests allegedly linked Jung’s DNA to that recovered from the scene of all 46 rapes, police said.
"I can’t overstate how hard we struggled to find the suspect," the police official said. "We hope this guy is locked up forever."