SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- The national judo federation said Friday it has issued a lifetime ban on a former high school accused of sexually assaulting his former athlete.
An official with the Korea Judo Association (KJA) said the decision was reached Tuesday, a day after former high school judoka Shin Yu-yong accused the coach of sexually assaulting her for four years in multiple media interviews.
The coach, a married man whose identity has been withheld, denied the sexual assault allegations and said instead he was romantically involved with Shin and had an on-again, off-again relationship with her.
In the immediate aftermath, the KJA said it planned to discuss possible punishments for the ex-coach at its board meeting Saturday.
Instead, the KJA convened an emergency disciplinary meeting Tuesday, and the six-member disciplinary committee unanimously agreed to ban the coach in question for life.
"Whether or not the former coach is found guilty in court, we felt there was a serious problem with his having had inappropriate relations with a minor," said attorney Kim Hye-eun, who serves as the head of the KJA's disciplinary committee. "The coach submitted his statement regarding this situation, and all six members of our committee agreed to issue the most severe penalty."
Shin said she filed a complaint against her ex-coach with Seoul police in March last year at the height of the "Me Too" movement, and made her claims on her Facebook page last November. But they didn't garner any attention at the time.
The KJA acknowledged it became aware of Shin's situation last fall, but it didn't take any action until Shin gave media interviews this week.
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