brutal assault exposes life of lies

This is a crazy story out of Washington D.C. that sort of combines several extremely disturbing trends we've seen over the last year involving the Korean American community... the extreme pressure to succeed, elaborate deception, and disturbing, suicidal acts of violence: 10-Year Sentence Follows Life of Lies. Last week, 26-year-old Chong Koh was sentenced in DC Superior Court to a maximum 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault while armed. On the morning of May 20, his girlfriend awoke to find Koh sitting on top of her, punching her in the face, striking her with a wok and slashing her neck, throat and wrists with a razor blade. She survived. Koh tried to kill himself by drinking STP gas treatment. For him, it was a way out.

Over the course of several years, Koh had constructed a life built on a series of elaborate lies—college, law school, and a job waiting for him at a prestigious law firm. All lies, told to his family and friends, who were now planning to fly out from Los Angeles to watch him graduate from Georgetown Law School. But he had never attended a day of undergrad at Columbia University, nor any classes at Georgotown, and there was no law firm job. For five years, Koh's relatives had sent him what they thought was tuition money, which he used for rent, expenses and luxuries. And now, "graduation day" was about to expose all that.

Prosecutors said Koh had concocted a murder-suicide plot that he hoped would leave friends and family members too distraught to discover his lies about Columbia and Georgtown. Koh's attorney described the attack as "the culmination of years of deception brought about by emotional stress and depression, partly due to family stress within his culture." Scary. How did things come to this? And why does this keep happening? There needs to be some kind of intervention.

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