Probes continue on high profile South Koreans embroiled in #MeToo scandals

Former South Chungcheong Governor An Hee-jung speaks to reporters after arriving at the Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office in Seoul, South Korea, March 9, 2018. An Hee-jung attended the court to face questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted at least two women, one of whom was his secretary. Photo by EPA-EFE/Jung Ui-chel.

SEOUL, March 18 (UPI) — South Korean authorities are continuing to investigate high-profile figures accused of sexual assault and rape, amid the ongoing #MeToo movement in the country.

Prosecutors said Sunday that former South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung has been summoned to appear before prosecutors on Monday morning for the second time, following two allegations of sexual misconduct, Chosun Ilbo reported.

An, who was deemed a potential presidential candidate for the ruling Democratic Party, stepped down from his position after his former secretary Kim Ji-eun claimed he raped her four times over the past eight months.

An apologized to the public over the allegations and voluntarily attended a questioning session at the prosecutors’ office on March 9.

Since then, a second allegation emerged last week when a female researcher at the Seoul-based Institute for Better Democracy accused the politician of sexually assaulting her three times and harassing her four times between 2015 and 2017.

She filed a complaint with the prosecution on Wednesday.

An’s legal team claims his sexual relations were consensual and were not forced through authority.

Meanwhile, renowned theater director Le Youn-taek, accused of sexual violence against women in his line of work returned home after a 15-hour interrogation, Yonhap reported.

Lee apologized to the victims outside the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency on Sunday morning, saying he would cooperate with the investigation.

The 66-year-old has been accused of sexually harassing or raping 16 women.

Police are set to decide whether to request an arrest warrant to question him further. Lee is currently banned from leaving the country.

Prosecutors last week raided Lee’s home and studios in the country to seize evidence for the investigation.


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