A South Korean court on Wednesday handed down a landmark verdict, convicting a man of raping a transsexual woman.
The court in the southern port of Busan sentenced the 28-year-old to three years in prison but suspended the sentence for four years. It also ordered him to do 120 hours of community service.
The man was found guilty of raping the 58-year-old transsexual after breaking into her home in Busan last August.
In its ruling quoted by Yonhap news agency, the court said the victim should be considered a woman because she had maintained normal sexual relations with her partner since her sex-change operation in 1974.
The criminal code does not recognise the concept of homosexual rape.
The Supreme Court in 1996 rejected a similar case involving the rape of a transsexual.
But in 2006 it affirmed the right of people who undergo sex changes to adopt their new gender for official records.
A rights group estimates more than 70,000 people have undergone sex-change therapy or surgery.