Ex-Presidential Candidate in South Korea Is Jailed for Sexual Assault

Ex-Presidential Candidate in South Korea Is Jailed for Sexual Assault


“The victim had to resort to the extreme measure of using her real name and exposing her face in order to appeal for redress,” said the presiding judge, Hong Dong-ki. “She was victimized again when unfounded stories about her spread during the investigation and trial.”

One such rumor on social media depicted Ms. Kim as a villain who had duped Mr. Ahn into a sexual relationship, then turned against him when he tried to end it. In a statement released through her lawyers on Friday, Ms. Kim said she had been like “a witch burned at the stake.”

The #MeToo movement took hold in South Korea in January last year, when Seo Ji-hyeon, a female prosecutor, appeared on TV to say she had been groped at a funeral by a male superior, who banished her to an obscure job after she filed a complaint. (The higher-ranking prosecutor, Ahn Tae-geun, was sentenced to two years in prison last week.)

Women have since come forward with accusations of sexual abuse against an array of prominent men, including theater directors, politicians, professors, religious leaders and a former coach for the national speedskating team. Many of the accused have since apologized and resigned from their positions, and several have faced criminal charges.

In September, a well-known theater director, Lee Youn-taek, was sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing actresses. In November, a prominent pastor received a 15-year sentence for raping female followers who said he had deceived them into believing he was God.

Ms. Kim’s accusation against Mr. Ahn, the former governor, were particularly shocking to many. He is from a generation of student leaders who fought for democracy under military rule in the 1980s and went on to political careers; such politicians often present themselves as being of better character than older conservatives, many of whom had connections to the dictatorship.

Mr. Ahn resigned as governor after his scandal broke, and he was later expelled from the Democratic Party.


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