Ex-Governor Rape Scandal Turns into Slanging Match

  • By Gwak Rae-geon

    February 22, 2019 13:51

    The scandal surrounding the rape conviction of ex-South Chungcheong Province Governor An Hee-jung has turned into a slanging match between supporters of both sides.

    An's wife Min Joo-won claims his former secretary's claim of rape is false and added that the two were merely "having an affair," and the former secretary, Kim Ji-eun, accuses Min of defamation.

    "I am a woman who has been humiliated by [An and Kim], while my pride as a wife was once again trampled upon during the trial," Min wrote in an emotional Facebook post on Thursday.

    Min Joo-won (left) and Kim Ji-eun

    She seems to be taking aim at a final appeal before the Supreme Court, after an appeals court sentenced An to three-and-a-half years behind bars.

    She also published text messages exchanged by her husband and his former secretary when An was still governor. "When I first saw the text message, I could not believe my eyes," she wrote. "The two were clearly in a relationship."

    In one message sent to other staff of the governor's office on Sept. 15, 2017, Kim wrote, "I don't think there is anyone other than the governor who can console me." And on Oct. 21, she wrote, "I would be willing to give everything to the governor." The messages were sent, shortly after the business trip to Switzerland where Kim claimed An raped her.

    But "Me Too" activists who support Kim accused Min of victim shaming. Suh Jung-wook at law firm Minjoo, said "It looks like Min is attempting to sway public opinion by using some text messages to gain the upper hand in the final trial."

    Yoon-Kim Ji-young at Konkuk University said, "Min is also a victim, but she's venting her frustrations not at her husband, but at Kim."

    Min claims that at one stage during a business trip she woke up to find Kim standing over their marital bed. An was jailed on a technical charge of coercing sex by force of authority since he and Kim had sex multiple times during business trips and rape would have been impossible to prove.

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