July 03, 2018 12:34
The former governor of South Chungcheong Province, An Hee-jung, appeared in the Seoul Western District Court on Monday on charges of raping his secretary.
Prosecutors accuse An (53) of repeatedly raping his secretary Kim Ji-eun (33) on business trips. Prosecutors said An "set a trap like a hunter seeking his prey by ordering her to bring him cigarettes and liquor to his hotel room late at night."
Kim arrived in court before An and sat down at the front row of the spectators' stand accompanied by feminist activists.
Prosecutors said An's behavior "is a classic case of sexual abuse committed by those in power where An abused his position and authority as a leading presidential contender." They dismissed An's claims that the sex was consensual as "narcissism typical of sex offenders."
Pleading not guilty, An's lawyer said the governor's position could not be used as a means to force somebody to capitulate to sexual advances. He also argued that asking a staff to run an errand cannot be construed as having sexual intent.
An is charged not with rape but with sexual coercion by force of authority, which carries a lesser punishment but a lower burden of proof.
An only spoke once in Monday's hearing, to give his occupation as "unemployed."
The verdict is expected next month.
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