Former South Korea ambassador guilty of sexual abuse

Activists stage a rally in front of a court in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province, south of Seoul, on Aug. 16 denouncing a Seoul court ruling that found former South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung not guilty of sex abuse. Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Sept. 12 (UPI) — The former South Korean ambassador to Ethiopia has been found guilty of sexual abuse against female staff members.

The Seoul Central District Court on Wednesday gave a one-year prison term and 40 hours of sexual violence education sessions to former ambassador Kim Mun-hwan, South Korean news agency Newsis reported.

Kim was accused of sexually harassing and assaulting three female staff members at the South Korean embassy in the East African county from 2014 to 2017.

The former ambassador said the sexual relationship was consensual, but the Seoul court disagreed, saying Kim imposed his authority to sexually abuse female employees.

The ruling offers a contrast to a recent sexual abuse case involving an ex-governor and his secretary. Former Chungcheong Province governor Ahn Hee-jeong was found not guilty of sexually assaulting his secretary in the first trial last month.

That ruling was met by fierce criticisms from women’s rights activists.

Ahn was the first high-profile figure to stand trial on sex abuse allegations since the #MeToo movement started in South Korea.


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