Go to Contents Go to Navigation

Ex-Gov. An keeps mum in appeal on sex abuse charges

National 12:00 December 21, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- Disgraced former South Chungcheong Gov. An Hee-jung maintained his silence in court on Friday as he faced his first appeals hearing over sexual abuse charges, of which he was cleared in an August lower court decision.

The grim-faced former politician only spoke when the leading judge of the Seoul High Court asked his name and address as part of the standard pre-hearing procedure.

"I have no occupation," An told the court. He then gave the bench his current address, which is different from his home address, saying it's a friend's place where he has been staying.

The 54-year-old, once considered a potential presidential candidate of the liberal bloc, was indicted in April this year for forcing his former secretary to have sex with him and groping her both multiple times between the middle of last year and early this year.

The case became known after Kim Ji-eun, the secretary, made the revelation in a cable TV news interview in February, in what led to the unleashing of a torrent of other similar allegations by women claiming to be victims of sexual violence by influential men in South Korea's Me Too movement.

Despite the public uproar and strong calls from womens' groups for An to be punished, the Seoul Central District Court found the former governor not guilty in the ruling on Aug. 14. The prosecution immediately filed for an appeal.

The court ruled that there was not sufficient evidence to prove An used his position to have sexual relations with Kim. It also didn't accept the plaintiff's argument that he had physically subdued her to the point that she was unable to resist.

An stepped down as governor in March, days after Kim's interview.

Following the opening statements from the prosecution and defendant's lawyer, the court turned Friday's hearing into a closed-door session. The court is expected to bring Kim to the stand.

The court plans to hold four hearings before delivering its verdict on Feb. 1, 2019.

Former South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung (C) appears for his trial at the Seoul High Court on Dec. 21, 2018. (Yonhap)

Former South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung (C) appears for his trial at the Seoul High Court on Dec. 21, 2018. (Yonhap)


Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!