April 06, 2018 11:35
A court on Thursday once again rejected an arrest warrant for former South Chungcheong Province governor An Hee-jung, who is accused of repeatedly raping his secretary and another woman who worked for him. It was prosecutors' second attempt in as many weeks.
Seoul Western District Court Judge Park Seung-hye said, "The charges leave room for debate."
The rejection turned on a technicality. Instead of charging An (53) with rape, prosecutors indicted him on the lesser charge of sexual coercion by a person in authority. This gives more weight to the victim's position as in some way dependent on the perpetrator, thus making it hard for them to resist even if no actual violence is used.
On a rape charge they would have to prove violence and active resistance, which may be difficult in the case of the secretary, Kim Ji-eun, who continued to work for An and accompany him on business trips until she spoke out on TV last month.
A nationwide network of feminist and victim-support groups issued a statement condemning the court's decision.
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