On June 8, a couple in South Korea went on trial for allegedly abusing and murdering their 10-year-old niece.
The couple was arrested in May after the girl died of secondary shock, according to Yonhap News Agency (YNA).
Videos of abuse revealed during trial
According to Korea Boo, the couple reportedly stored 22 videos of the abuse on their mobile phones.
The videos were deleted from the couples' phones but a digital forensics team managed to recover the footage and presented it as evidence in court.
14 out of the 22 videos were shared with the court during the first trial.
Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation News (MBC News) provided more information about the footage that was released in court.
In one of the videos, the 10-year-old stood naked in front of a bathroom and was instructed to clean it. MBC News also reported that the video clearly showed bruises on her thigh.
In another video, the child was seen putting dog faeces into her mouth while her aunt yelled at her to eat it.
The couple also subjected the girl to water torture — tying up her hands and feet before submerging her head underwater for 30 minutes. They called for an ambulance service after noticing that the girl's body had gone limp. However, by the time the paramedics arrived, the girl's heart had already stopped.
An autopsy report indicated that at the time of death, the girl had bruises on her right shoulder, thighs, and her face.
According to South Korean police, the physical trauma that the girl underwent — including the beatings and being submerged underwater — caused subcutaneous bleeding, resulting in poorer blood circulation. This in turn caused her to die from shock.
Mother believed child was possessed
According to YNA, prosecutors will continue investigating the girl's mother for allegedly neglecting her child.
The woman, who is a divorcee, had been taking care of her daughter alone, before leaving the child with her aunt in November 2020.
The mother reportedly handed over her daughter to her sister, who is a shaman, so that the child would be exorcised of evil spirits..
The Suwon District Prosecutors' Office said the child's aunt and uncle tortured her so that they could exorcise the evil spirits in her, reported YNA.
The second trial will be held in July.
Image via MBC.