Wife Defends Ex-Governor Against Rape Charge

  • By Kim Kyeong-pil

    February 15, 2019 13:51

    Min Joo-won

    The wife of ex-South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung on Wednesday defended her husband against charges of raping his secretary that saw him jailed for three-and-a-half years on appeal earlier this month.

    In a message on Facebook, Min Joo-won said, "This case is not an instance of a courageous Me Too confession, but just an affair."

    Min accused her husband's former secretary of falsely accusing him of rape. "I could no longer stand by and watch someone guilty of adultery become a victim," she added.

    Min was referring to an incident at a resort in Boryeong, South Chungcheong Province in August 2017. At the time, An and his wife were staying on the second floor of the resort after meeting with the Chinese ambassador to Korea and his wife. One point of contention was whether Kim entered the room while the couple were sleeping, and Min claimed she woke up to find Kim watching them.

    "Kim said in the first trial that she was guarding the hotel room door in order to prevent An and another woman from meeting, but changed her account in the second trial," Min said.

    "She changed her account because it makes no sense even to her that a victim of rape would stand guard in front of her alleged aggressor's hotel room."

    Former South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung is taken off to prison after being found guilty of raping his secretary by the Seoul Central District Court on Feb. 1. /Yonhap

    At the same time, however, Min said her husband is "a worse person than Kim" and added, "I cannot forgive him."

    Women's activists and supporters of Kim in a statement said Min's claims were already aired during the first trial and had been comprehensively refuted on appeal. They urged the ex-governor's wife to stop slandering the victim.

    An was convicted on a technical charge of coercing sex by force of authority. Rape would have been impossible to prove because An and Kim had sex multiple times during business trips. 

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