If a person intentionally transmits his or her STD to another, will it constitute “Inflicting Bodily Injury”?
In 2020, a famous pharmacist YouTuber was accused by several women that he had dated as he had intentionally given STD to them. One of them mentioned that she had found that she had been infected with herpes after having intercourse with him.
The Korean criminal court convicted him of Inflicting Bodily Injury in May, 2022. The sentence was imprisonment with labor for eight months and suspension of execution of the sentence. The grounds for the decision are that the STD that the victims were infected are not completely curable and the victims had become restricted in having intercourse because of him.
Then, what are the elements of “Inflicting Bodily Injury”(hereafter referred to as the “Crime)”? Criminal Act states as follows;
Article 257 (Inflicting Bodily Injury on Other or on Lineal Ascendant)
The main elements of the Crimes are criminal intent, and the result of the victim’s bodily injury. The injury means damage of physiological functions of the victim’s body. According to the Supreme Court precedents, if a victim fainted by physical violence and intimidation, it will constitute the Crime. Likewise, as for intentional transmitting STD can institute the Crime as it results in damage of physiological functions of the victim’s body. As mentioned above, criminal intent should be proved and it means that the person having STD knowingly has intercourse with another will be punished.
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