|A man has his height measured during a checkup for military service at the Seoul office of the Military Manpower Administration in this 2016 photo. / Korea Times file|
By Kim Rahn
A man has been found not guilty of attempting to avoid mandatory military service by binge-eating fried chicken to gain weight.
The Incheon District Court said Sunday it recently acquitted the college student, 22, of violating of the Military Act.
The man, whose name was withheld, was indicted in August 2016 for having his weight shoot up before the military health checkup in an alleged attempt to dodge the service.
In the checkup, he measured 169.6 centimeters tall and weighed 106 kilograms with a body mass index (BMI) of 36.8.
Those with a BMI of 33 or over are classified as overweight, and carry out community service at regional community centers or public organizations instead of being stationed in military camps.
The prosecution claimed the student, knowing the rule, tried to gain weight by drinking alcohol and bingeing on fried chicken. The man, however, claimed he had been overweight even before the extra weight gain.
Rejecting the prosecution's account, the court said the man's BMI had been over 33 since he was in the third grade and that he already weighed 102 kilograms in his senior year at high school. "It is unlikely for a high school senior to deliberately gain weight in order to dodge military service in the future," it said.
"There is also no evidence of his taking supplements or drugs to rapidly gain weight."