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Accused molester found dead

July 13,2018
The body of a 42-year-old man who was under investigation for sexually molesting a YouTube star and coercing her into performing lewd photoshoots was found floating in a river east of Seoul on Thursday.

With the man confirmed dead, prosecutors have closed the case against him.

Law enforcement authorities were first notified of his suicide on Monday morning when they received a report that a man in his 40s had jumped into the Bukhan River northwest of Seoul.

Police identified a vehicle on the site as belonging to the man under investigation. A suicide note was found in the car, and while the letter’s exact contents were not revealed, authorities said the man wrote in the note that he felt wronged and that neither the police nor the media was willing to listen to his side of the story.

The man was less than an hour away from his sixth interrogation when he took his own life. Law enforcement authorities believe that he felt pressure after several clues pointed to his involvement in distributing lewd photos and after two additional victims sued him on July 5 for circulating images of them.

The arrest of one of his colleagues, a 45-year-old man surnamed Choi, would have put a lot of pressure on him as well, authorities said.

The police initially had difficulty finding his body because of high water levels from recent rain but eventually found his body floating near the Amsa Bridge in Guri, Gyeonggi, on Thursday morning.

In May, YouTube star Yang Ye-won revealed in a video clip that she was sexually molested and coerced into performing lewd photoshoots three years ago at a studio in Mapo District, western Seoul. She said the photoshoot was done in a very oppressive manner, with 20 to 30 cameramen surrounding her.

Yang sued the 42-year-old man who owned the studio. Six people later came forward with allegations that they were victimized in a similar way.

The man then countersued Yang for false accusations and defamation.

BY JEONG EUN-HYE, NOH SHIN-YOUNG [noh.shinyoung@joongang.co.kr]