Bae ’17 gets three years in prison

Samuel Wolf

On Monday, Judge Michael Callan of the Berkshire Superior Court sentenced Yoonsang Bae ’17 to not less than three years and no more than three years and a day in prison. Callan had previously convicted Bae of rape on Sept. 6, closing a five-year investigation that began when Bae assaulted another student on campus in summer 2014. The College had suspended Bae for two years, which he spent serving in the South Korean military, before he graduated in 2017.

Assistant Berkshire District Attorney Stephanie Ilberg prosecuted Bae’s case under the direction of District Attorney Andrea Harrington, who was elected to office in 2018 partially on the platform of rigorously prosecuting rape cases at the College. The previous District Attorney’s office, led by Paul Caccaviello, had extended Bae a plea deal in 2018 that would have required he admit only to indecent assault and battery, a lesser offense. Bae did not accept the deal. 

Harrington’s office rescinded that offer, and instead offered three to four years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea for rape. When Bae rejected that offer and the case proceeded to trial, Ilberg asked for a sentence of five to seven years in prison.

Callan has recommended that Bae serve his sentence in the Berkshire Jail and House of Correction. Following his sentence, Bae will have to register as a sex offender. He will be deported to South Korea, where he is a citizen, and will be barred reentry to the United States.