Toronto Sun - Canada October 19, 2010
Gang rape allegations orchestrated by church leader, lawyer says
By TAMARA CHERRY, TORONTO SUN
One of the so-called victims of alleged gang rapes within a Korean "cult" now says the allegations were fictitiously scripted by the "cult leader," a lawyer for one of the accused charged said Tuesday.
The case unravelled in March after a teenaged girl and three young women told police they were drugged, beaten and gang-raped by a group of men whom they had met through a Korean church between the fall of 2009 and February 2010.
Three men were arrested before a fifth complainant came forward, prompting the arrests of two sisters who are, according to defence lawyer Jacqueline An, the nieces of Pastor Jae-Gap Song, who leads the so-called church.
A sixth complainant came forward in May, An said.
Since their arrests, An has maintained that the story was orchestrated by Song, who she says controlled roughly 50 people, many of them here on visas from Korea, kept them behind locked apartment doors and made them craft and wear matching uniforms.
Orangeville Police records show Song was arrested on March 14 on one count of sexual assault, which stems from an alleged attack exactly one month earlier.
An alleges it was that attack that Song was trying to mask by forcing a group of his followers to go to police with bogus rape stories.
One of those victims went to An three weeks ago with a 50-plus-pages "script" that outlines what the women were made to tell police, An alleged.
The woman, in her mid-20s, said Song wrote and made the women memorize the script, which outlined the alleged drugging and gang rapes, An alleged.
Police could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
"Song is one scary animal. He's a Korean version of some sick sexual cult leader," An charged, adding the woman "escaped" from one of the apartments after lying about where she was going.
An said she asked the woman whether the allegations were true, to which "She said, 'No, it's all fabricated.'
"She brought pictures of the place that she was held in custody, all the locks inside the house, not outside ‹ she couldn't leave. She brought a picture of an alarm that when you leave the house, it will ring, to keep track of her. She was never alone. She had to plan like two months for this escape."
An called on police to look into the new evidence, which she said was brought to them by the woman.
"This is a complete fabrication," she said. "Why are the police not doing anything? She said she escaped custody, he would (allegedly abuse) her, he (allegedly) threatened her to make up these crazy allegations against these poor innocent people."
A preliminary hearing for three men and two women is set for next summer. Three more men are wanted on warrants after An alleges they were "sent back home (to Korea) by Song."
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Global News - Canada March 22, 2010
Alleged gang rapists free on bail
Darryl Konynenbelt, Global News
Three alleged gang rapists are now free on bail, but not soon enough according to their lawyer.
Toronto's Hyung Jun Ha, 26, and Sang Cheol Lee, 37, as well as Jong Il Lee, 33, of Orangeville, have been charged with various counts of gang sexual assault, forcible confinement, threatening death, administering a drug for sex, assault and making child pornography. One of the four female victims is a minor.
Police say the suspects got to know the victims through a Korean community church in North Toronto.
Outside the courtroom, Global News discovered a group of church members siding with the accused.
"There is a call for a healthy dose of skepticism," said Ian Shoub, a lawyer who spoke for the church members.
"Many doubt these charges", he said.
Journalist Jay Jung, a reporter for Korea Times Daily, began investigating the church after members, including the suspects, recently broke away from the congregation.
"They felt Pastor Song had done something wrong and it was not right," Jung said.
Jung is referring to Pastor Jae-Gap Song, a man ex-church members say tried to wield too much control over a congregation of 50 women and 10 men.
Global News has also learned church members at one time all lived together in an apartment in West Toronto.
"I will call him a fanatical leader," said Shoub. "This is what this case is all about."
Global News tracked down Pastor Song to what is reportedly his home in West Toronto. He did not responded to the accusations by ex-congregation members.
A Canada-wide warrant has also been issued for three other men in the case: Jin Hyun Kim, 33, Yoon Hyun Cho, 26, and Jung Jay Lee, 26, all of Toronto.
Police say the gang sexual assaults occurred between the fall of 2009 and last month.
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