Secretary confided mayor's harassment to colleague who later raped her, lawyer says

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Secretary confided mayor's harassment to colleague who later raped her, lawyer says

Seoul City Hall in Jung District, central Seoul. [YONHAP]

Seoul City Hall in Jung District, central Seoul. [YONHAP]

The lawyer representing a former secretary to the late Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon told the JoongAng Ilbo she was raped by a colleague in whom she had confided about Park’s alleged sexual advances.
 
The lawyer, Kim Jae-ryon, told the paper in an exclusive interview Monday that the victim told the alleged rape suspect via text message she was having a hard time at work due to Park, and that she felt “uncomfortable” about the mayor sending her selfies. 
 
But the male colleague didn’t take it seriously, Kim said, and he began mocking her with the nickname “the mistress of the sixth floor” in front of other coworkers at City Hall, saying the mayor “loves” her.
 
The sixth floor is where Park’s office and those of his secretaries were located.  
 
Kim said the victim felt “very uncomfortable” about the moniker but couldn’t raise her accusations against Park in a more assertive manner. Most of her colleagues on the sixth floor who were aware of her struggle collectively thought of her relationship with Park as harmless, as that of “a grandmother and her granddaughter.”
 
On April 13, the eve of the general elections, Kim said the suspect invited the victim — who by that time was working on a different team within the Seoul city government — to a dinner joined by former and current secretaries.
  
Kim said the suspect forced the victim to drink several shots of liquor that was more than 40 percent alcohol as “punishment for being late.” The victim became drunk, after which the suspect took her to a motel in Seocho District, southern Seoul, where he allegedly raped her, Kim continued.
 
The victim called the cops after she went home, and police launched an investigation soon thereafter. The suspect was suspended by the city government on April 24, 11 days later.
 
On Sept. 10, Seoul prosecutors indicted him on charges of “quasi-rape” and inflicting physical harm during the process.  
 
Korea’s criminal code defines quasi-rape as the act of having sexual intercourse with another person by taking advantage of his or her condition of unconsciousness or inability to resist. A conviction carries a minimum sentence of three years in prison.  
 
The suspect has never publicly provided his side of the story, but a Seoul city government official with knowledge of the case told the JoongAng Ilbo Monday that he denies the rape and says he left the motel that night after the woman refused to have sex with him.
 
BY HEO JEONG-WON   [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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