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Man allegedly forced his way into elderly loner's home. He now asserts common-law marriage

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : May 23, 2023 - 15:59

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A man accused of physically abusing a disabled woman in her 80s while living at her home against her will is being held for questioning, local police said Tuesday.

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

According to Yangpyeong Police Station, the 65-year-old suspect is believed to have lived with the victim at her home in Yangpyeong, Gyeonggi Province, for over 10 years. He pretended to neighbors that he was her husband and told a local community center that he was her nephew when registering his residence at the victim’s house in 2016.

He is accused of physically abusing the victim during that time, while refusing her repeated requests for him to leave.

The suspect's actions came to light in March when the victim sought out police near her home, saying she has been beaten and begged them to send her to a nursing home. She had three broken ribs at the time.

The ensuing investigation led to the suspect’s arrest last week. Charges against him include inflicting bodily harm, refusing to leave after intruding upon another person's residence, and physical abuse against an elderly person. According to the Welfare of Senior Citizens Act, the latter crime can be punished by up to five years in prison or a fine of 50 million won ($38,100).

Officials believe that the victim, who lived alone with no contact with family or relatives, had been unable to resist the suspect due to her disability and old age. The victim has communication problems stemming from her hearing issues and old age.

The suspect denies most of the charges, claiming that he and the victim are in a common law marriage.