An may face third rape accuserA second woman accusing former South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung of rape filed a criminal complaint with the Seoul Western District Prosecutors’ Office on Wednesday as a feminist group representing both victims hinted a third rape complaint could be coming.
The Korean Association of Sexual Violence Relief Center said during a press conference Tuesday that there was at least one more woman allegedly raped by An, without revealing her identity. That woman is still undecided whether to go public with her charge.
The second victim’s criminal complaint came eight days after the first victim, An’s former secretary, formally told the prosecutors’ office that An raped her four times and sexually harassed her more often during the eight months she worked for him.
The second alleged victim claimed she was raped by An three times from August 2016 to January 2017 while working at the Institute for Better Democracy, An’s political think tank in Mapo District, western Seoul. An’s sexual advances allegedly began in 2015, when he “pinched” her waist with his right hand during a public gathering in South Chungcheong. The assault was repeated the next day in Seoul, she said. An, 52 and married with two sons, apologized for his sexual misconduct with the first victim, but has yet to make any mention of the second. Prosecutors said Wednesday they were planning to summon the second victim in the coming days for questioning.
On Tuesday, prosecutors raided An’s residence in Gwangju, Gyeonggi, as well as the office in which he worked while serving as South Chungcheong governor in Hongseong County, South Chungcheong. A second house in which he lived near his office was also investigated for any evidence he raped his secretary there, prosecutors said. CCTV footage from around the areas, computer hard disks and documents were retrieved.
An, who was considered a strong liberal contender for the next presidential election in 2022, has become the most prominent man in Korea to be disgraced by the Me Too movement. The 33-year-old Kim Ji-eun, his secretary, appeared on “JTBC Newsroom,” the 8 p.m. prime-time news show on cable channel JTBC, on March 5, asserting she was raped by him four times. The most recent rape, she said, occurred last month. An apologized the next day and stepped down as South Chungcheong governor, after which the ruling Democratic Party expelled him.
BY LEE SUNG-EUN [firstname.lastname@example.org]