Kany sentenced to six months
By Prabhat Mehta
Thomas S. Kang '91 faces six months in prison and five years' probation for his assault on a Lesley college student last summer. Kang was sentenced last Thursday to two-and-a-half years in prison for assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and three months for assault and battery. All but six months of the sentence was suspended by Roxbury District Court Judge Richard L. Banks.
Kang was found guilty of these two charges in mid-October
and subsequently underwent in-patient psychiatric analysis. The psychiatric report concluded that Kang would be able to serve six months, as recommended by the assistant district attorney, Charles R. Daly.
The convictions were the result of the attack which occurred at a Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) party July 15. At the trial, Kang, who was a resident at Delta Upsilon, admitted to having attacked the woman by grabbing her head and repeatedly repeatedly slamming it against the sink, walls and toilet.
After the sentencing, the victim, who has asked to remain anonymous, said she believed "justice has been served."
Kang, who was expelled from MIT at the end of November, may undergo additional psychiatric counseling. "Clearly, the young man needs help," Banks said when delivering the sentence.
During the trial, Kang's defense attorney, William P. Homans Jr., blamed Kang's violence on alcohol. "This incident occurred as a result of Thomas Kang's inability to control himself when he's had too much to drink," Homans said. He argued that for this reason, Kang should not be sentenced to jail.
Before the sentence was handed down, the victim made a statement, asking that Kang be required to serve prison time. "More went on than just head-bashing," she said. "I'm sure he was trying to kill me. . . . I think he should go to jail."
The mother of the woman also asked the judge to give Kang jail time. "I don't want this to happen to another lady," she said. "[The victim] was very close, in our eyes, to having been murdered."
On Kang's behalf, his brother David S. Kang '81 told the judge that Thomas Kang had suffered enough. "I don't think anyone really realized the actual intensity of what he's been through," he said. "Now he knows he needs help."
Kang voluntarily stopped drinking after the incident, David said.
David said his brother had become so upset over what he had done that he tried to commit suicide by swallowing sleeping tablets. Kang took "hundreds of sleeping tablets" and remained "spaced out" for days, David said.
David acknowledged that his brother needed psychiatric help. He attributed his brother's problems to a sense of "isolation" created by being in a "different society." The Kangs are of Korean descent.
Culturally, his brother was taught to "not show emotional outburst," David said. The pressures of having to live and succeed in the United States made him snap.
against Kang dropped
Charges were filed against Kang once before, in connection with an alleged assault. On Aug. 9, 1988, a woman claimed that Kang had attacked her on the Harvard Bridge at about 2:30 am. The two of them struggled, and the woman slashed Kang in the throat with a razor. Kang required surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital for his injuries.
After his injury, Kang filed a petition with the court charging that the woman had deeply wounded his neck "without provocation of any kind." The woman was charged with possession of cocaine, and Kang was charged with kidnapping, assault and attempted rape. On Oct. 13, 1988 all charges against Kang were dropped.
Last March, Kang ran for Undergraduate Association president. Kang and vice-presidential candidate Jon D. Strizzi '92 ran a distant third in the campaign, finishing behind current UAP Manish Bapna '91 and UAVP Colleen M. Schwingel '92, and the team of David W. Hogg '92 and David M. Stern '91.