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Stepdad of ‘Molar Daddy’ found dead, with a note

Oct 27,2017
“Molar Daddy” Lee Young-hak’s stepfather was found dead near his home in Gangwon on Wednesday, as police were investigating whether he raped Lee’s wife, who committed suicide last month after telling police he raped her several times since 2009.

Police suspect Lee’s stepdad, a 59-year-old surnamed Bae, killed himself because a suicide note was found in his pocket, which partially read, “[I cannot] keep my head held high” due to the shame of being accused of rape.

“I beg police to vindicate me. I’m terribly sorry for everyone who helped me to this day,” Bae wrote. His wife found him lying unconscious in a greenhouse near their home in Yeongwol County at 1:27 p.m. and called police.

Bae’s death marks the latest development of the “Molar Daddy” case, which surrounds the 35-year-old Lee, who allegedly gave a sleeping pill to his daughter’s 14-year-old friend at his home in Seoul on Sept. 30, then took her to his bedroom to grope her, and strangled her the next day when she woke up and screamed.

The father-and-daughter team shoved the body into a black suitcase, loaded it onto a car and drove to Yeongwol County, where they dumped it on a mountain.

Lee is better known in local media as “Molar Daddy,” a nickname he picked up after appearing in several TV documentaries since 2006, most recently in February, to discuss his rare genetic disorder and raise charity to treat his daughter, who has the same condition.

Gigantiform cementoma, a hereditary tumor that causes disfigurement of the jaws and teeth, left him with only one molar tooth.

Police later found out Lee is the owner of a massage parlor in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, where he illegally linked buyers with prostitutes online and later secretly video-recorded them having sex.

Lee’s wife sued Lee’s stepfather, Bae, on Sept. 1 for several counts of rape. Five days later, she committed suicide after leaving behind a note that said she had suffered from sexual violence. Bae had admitted to having sex with her, but said it was consensual, adding that she seduced him. Gangwon police said Thursday they were planning to close the rape case because both parties are now dead.

BY LEE GA-YOUNG, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]