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Prosecutors launch appeal in An’s rape case

Aug 21,2018
Prosecutors on Monday appealed a recent court decision to clear former South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung of sexual abuse charges, claiming the verdict is not in line with Supreme Court rulings in similar cases.

An was indicted in April on charges of forcing his former secretary, Kim Ji-eun, to have sex with him four times and molesting her multiple times between the middle of last year and early this year in Seoul and on overseas business trips.

Last week, the Seoul Western District Court found him not guilty, saying there is not sufficient evidence to prove that An used his position to have sexual relations with the plaintiff.

It also did not accept the victim’s argument that he physically subdued her so that she was unable to resist.

The ruling sparked protests from women’s groups.

On Monday, the Seoul Western District Prosecutors’ Office said it filed an appeal against the ruling, claiming that the Supreme Court gave guilty verdicts in cases where less force appeared to have been involved than in An’s case.

Officials also said they are confident they can prove the reliability of the victim’s claims.

The trial was one of the high-profile cases that sparked the #MeToo movement in South Korea.

Women in art and entertainment, as well as law enforcement, came forward over past months to tell their experiences of alleged sexual assaults by influential men in their workplaces.

An apologized to the public over the scandal but never admitted to the charges.

He stepped down as governor in March, days after Kim made the revelation in a cable TV news interview. The scandal has dealt a serious blow to the political career of An, who was once touted as a potential presidential candidate.

Yonhap