A seven-month-old girl in a daycare center fell nine months ago. The fall caused a cerebral hemorrhage and retinal hemorrhages.
Child abuse is suspected, but CCTV footage, which would be key evidence in any case, has disappeared.
Nine months after the accident, the child is still limping because one of her legs has still not fully recovered.
Since she now falls easily, her mother put a helmet on her head and installed a fence for her safety.
Her mother says “it is fortunate that she has recovered this much since the time of the accident.”
At the time of the accident, the doctor found two cerebral hemorrhages and retinal hemorrhage so he began to suspect child abuse.
Police also applied child abuse charges against the director of the daycare center.
However, the prosecution only gave the director a fine of five million won for deleting the CCTV footage instead of a charge of child abuse which can be nine years in prison.
This is because the the CCTV footage were lost at the time of the accident. This would have been key evidence for this incident.
The director said, "The image was erased because I made a mistake."
Under current laws, if you damage or lose CCTV footage of a daycare center, you will be fined up to 20 million won or given up to two years in prison.
However, since intentionality has to be proven, it is difficult to punish somebody who claims to make a mistake.
Her mother cried out “I’m not saying I want to find out if my daughter got child abuse. She got hurt. Again, she was totally fine but got damaged to her brain. I just want to know what happened on that day.”
People have suggested that the law should be revised so that directors of children’s facilities should be liable for the damage to CCTV footage related to children's facilities. They should have to prove that any loss of footage was a mistake to avoid punishment, rather than the other way around.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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