Reduced Sentence Given

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By Linda Cicoira — A young man’s prison sentence for having carnal knowledge with a 13-year-old was reduced by six months Monday in Accomack Circuit Court because the defendant’s family provided $105,000 in restitution for future medical treatment of the victim.

Yun “Joshua” Kim, 20, whose address was listed as Vanalden Avenue in Northridge, Calif., was sentenced in January to 10 years in prison with all but two years and six months of the term suspended for the crime, which occurred between April 4 and May 31, 2017.

Defense lawyer Paul Watson asked for the sentence to be reconsidered and for the term to run concurrently with sentences that were handed down in Albemarle County Circuit Court for other crimes.

Retired Judge Burke K. McCahill declined to make a decision about resentencing at a June hearing because he wanted to consider what the child’s mother had to say about it.

Kim was sentenced in Albemarle to 10 years with all but a year suspended each for two counts of carnal knowledge. The terms were set to run consecutively. The crimes occurred Aug. 21 and 27, 2017. Restitution of $400,000 was ordered, according to court records.

Also in Albemarle, Kim was given a five-year suspended sentence for possession of child pornography, 10 years with nine suspended for a second count of possession of child pornography, and a 10-year suspended sentence for a third count. Those offenses all occurred Sept. 1, 2017.

Kim will be on probation for five years upon release. He was 19 when the crimes occurred. Testimony Monday was that Kim will likely be deported back to Korea at that time.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Spencer Morgan was opposed to a sentence reduction. It was “already a low sentence under the guidelines,” he told McCahill. Morgan said he recognized that Kim’s family “put forth a great deal of money. It’s a separate matter. Punitive responsibility. Consider leaving the sentence,” he said.

The victim’s mother, who is not being identified by the Eastern Shore Post to protect the identity of the victim, said, “The family has voluntarily apologized and I’m grateful of that … I am grateful that they have tried to make amends,” she said of the money. “I can’t speak to that,” she said of a reduced term.

Watson described Kim as being a prematurely-born infant with damaged vocal cords, who was slow to acquire motor skills and maturity, bounced around and attended boarding school, and had no parental guidance. He urged the judge to let him voluntarily go back to Korea for “care and treatment. Obviously, he was an adult but didn’t act or look like an adult. A lost person here. Didn’t know how to deal with people … just a very unfortunate situation,” said Watson.

“Two years in jail I have been regretting what I’ve done and for the hurt that I’ve caused,” Kim told the judge. “This will not ever ever happen again. I will be a productive member of society … Please have mercy on me.”

“Rarely do you see a person with the family resources pay this level of restitution,” the judge said. “The first time I’ve seen it. Usually a struggle. They don’t have money to pay it. Paid an amount suggested by the victim … none of the trauma of going through litigation. We don’t let people buy their way out of trouble either.”

McCahill said if he had known the family was going to come forward with the funds he would have considered that at sentencing. “I’m not going to make this concurrent. I feel like concurrent sentences are like no sentence at all.”