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Appeals court acquits soldier convicted of homosexual acts

National 15:55 June 23, 2022

By Kim Han-joo

SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- Upholding a lower court ruling, a Seoul appeals court on Thursday acquitted a former Army captain charged with having sex with a fellow male soldier.

The Seoul Northern District Court cleared the former captain, whose identity was withheld, of charges that he violated the Military Criminal Act that calls for punishment of up to two years in prison for those who engage in "anal intercourse" or any other "indecent act."

A lower court earlier said punishing a soldier for engaging in consensual sexual intercourse goes against the Constitution that guarantees self-determination, and freedom of privacy and secret.

In a separate case, the Supreme Court in April struck down guilty verdicts for two male soldiers charged with having homosexual intercourse at an off-base housing facility, saying the encounter was consensual and took place in a private space.

The top court said anal intercourse or similar consensual sexual activities carried out in a private space cannot be seen as violating the military's culture and discipline and that the law should not be applied in such cases.

khj@yna.co.kr
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