More elite figures behaving badly

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More elite figures behaving badly


A former prosecutor-general was accused of sexual misconduct and the Gyeonggi police started an investigation into the case.

The incident, reported Wednesday, was the latest in a series of sexual misbehavior scandals involving successful, influential men in society. Earlier this week, a prominent doctor who once headed the National Medical Center was investigated for alleged repeated sexual offenses against a secretary at the institution.

The Gyeonggi Provincial Police Agency said Wednesday that a former worker at a country club in Pocheon accused a former prosecutor-general of sexually molesting her. According to the police, she filed a formal complaint on Tuesday.

The former top prosecutor is currently a co-chairman of the club, where the woman who filed the complaint has worked as a receptionist for two years.

According to the police, the former top prosecutor visited the country club worker’s dormitory room around 10 p.m. on June 22, 2013. She was taking a shower at the time, but he insisted that she come out of the shower and meet him in her room, she said in the complaint. She also accused him of kissing her on the cheek.

She told the police that he stayed for about two hours, made sexually offensive comments and gave her 50,000 won ($45.59) before leaving the dormitory room.

She quit her job at the club days after the incident.

The former prosecutor-general denied the charges. In a press release, he admitted to having visited the woman’s dormitory room, but said he did so to persuade her to stay on the job. He claimed she previously expressed an intention to quit.

“I want to say clearly that I did nothing inappropriate,” he said. “At the time, there were two other workers at the dormitory and I was never alone with her.”

He said he gave 50,000 won to each of the three workers and his intention was innocent. “I will take legal action against the groundless accusation,” he said.

In another case, a former head of the National Medical Center was investigated for sexually harassing a female worker. The Seoul Jungbu Police said Tuesday that it investigated the 65-year-old doctor, who also served as a professor at Seoul National University, and asked the prosecution to indict him.

According to the police, the doctor sexually molested the secretary of the deputy head of the center since August last year. He reportedly touched her body on over 10 occasions and made inappropriate comments including invitations to go on overseas trips.

The secretary quit her job at the end of last year and filed a complaint against him in September. At the end of August, he resigned from the post at the National Medical Center although three months were still left in his tenure. One month later, he also stepped down from the faculty of Seoul National University.

In September, National Assembly speaker Park Hee-tae was accused of sexually molesting a 23-year-old female caddie while playing golf.

In August, Kim Soo-chang, chief of the Jeju District Prosecutors’ Office, stepped down from his position after he was arrested for performing a lewd act in public. He allegedly unzipped his pants and flashed his genitals in a street. An 18-year-old high school girl passing by reported him to the police.

According to a police report given to Representative Kang Gi-yun of the Saenuri Party, more than 400 sex crimes are committed annually by professionals in influential jobs. The report looked into sexual harassment and assault committed by doctors, lawyers, professors, religious leaders, journalists and artists.

According to Kang, 2,132 professionals were arrested on charges of sex crimes from 2009 till 2013. Among them, 1,137 were charged with rape.

In another police report to Saenuri Representative Kim Jae-won, 191 public servants were arrested on charges of sex crimes in 2013, up by 9.8 percent from 174 in 2010.


BY SER MYO-JA [myoja@joongang.co.kr]

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