Ex-prosecutor admits to lewd acts

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Ex-prosecutor admits to lewd acts

Kim Soo-chang, the former chief of the Jeju District Prosecutors’ Office, admitted to committing lewd acts in public yesterday despite having previously denied those allegations.

The admission came after Jeju police officials confirmed that the man seen masturbating in the streets last week in confiscated CCTV footage was, indeed, the 52-year-old official.

Kim was arrested on Aug. 13 after an 18-year-old high school girl reported seeing a man wearing a green shirt and white-colored pants masturbating in front of a restaurant near the Jeju Fire Station in Jeju City around midnight the previous day.

And Kim committed lewd acts at least five times on the night of Aug. 12, according to a week-long analysis of the CCTV videos, the Jeju Provincial Police Agency said yesterday, more than was initially reported.

The police added that, according to the results of an analysis of 10 clips by the National Forensic Service, Kim committed those acts between 11:32 p.m. and 11:52 p.m., all within 100 to 200 meters of a local girls’ high school. Many students frequent the neighborhood, where Kim also resides, and there are three other schools in the vicinity.

“I am the man that appears on the CCTV,” Kim said in a statement through his attorney yesterday afternoon, accepting all allegations and apologizing for lying to the police. “I want to die from utmost shame, but I must think of my family.”

“I will consult a specialist for psychological treatment,” he added.

Upon his arrest, Kim initially refused to identify himself to police officials and gave his younger brother’s name. He also continued to insist that he was mistaken for another similarly dressed man and offered to resign so a fair investigation could be carried out.

He was dismissed by the Ministry of Justice as chief prosecutor of the Jeju District Prosecutors’ Office after turning in his resignation on Monday.

Police handed over security camera footage from the streets and inside nearby buildings to the National Forensic Service on Sunday to verify his claims.

Other CCTV video procured by the police also show other suspicious behavior by Kim that night. In one clip, he is seen exiting a building near the local girls’ high school, then briskly turning around to follow two young females entering it. He even brushes past them in the hallway before exiting a different door.

“Those who commit lewd behavior at nighttime when there are few people can be differentiated from the trench-coated men who flash their genitals in broad daylight,” Kwon Jun-soo, a psychiatry professor at Seoul National University, told the JoongAng Ilbo. “He might have a problem controlling his urges if he committed the act despite knowing it was unlawful and defying public morality.”

Police said they will refer the case to the prosecution.

If convicted of public lewd behavior, which police officials believe is likely based on the concrete evidence, Kim could face a maximum sentence of one year in prison or a 5 million won ($4,912) fine.

BY SARAH KIM [sarahkim@joongang.co.kr]

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