South Korean Mayor Sexually Harassed Secretary, Report Finds


A prime human rights watchdog in South Korea has launched a report confirming that the previous mayor of Seoul, who disappeared in July solely to later be discovered useless, had sexually harassed and verbally humiliated a secretary.

The Nationwide Human Rights Fee led an investigation into the allegations in opposition to the previous mayor, Park Gained-soon, whose physique was discovered on a wooded hill within the South Korean capital simply at some point after one in all his secretaries filed a police report accusing him of creating undesirable bodily advances and sending her obscene messages and pictures late at night time.

In a press release launched on Monday, the watchdog group mentioned it discovered the sufferer’s allegations to be credible.

“Mayor Park’s sexual phrases and actions led to emotions of sexual humiliation or disgust,” the fee mentioned in a press release, including that the mayor’s habits amounted to sexual harassment.

On July 15, days after the mayor’s demise, the Seoul government said that it would form a fact-finding mission with girls’s teams and specialists on regulation and human rights to look at the sufferer’s accusations. Two of the teams tapped by the federal government, the Korea Sexual Violence Reduction Middle and the Korea Girls’s Hotline, mentioned they’d not take part. As an alternative, they appealed to the Nationwide Human Rights Fee to guide an impartial investigation, which started in August.

The outcomes of the investigation included suggestions for the Seoul metropolis authorities on the best way to conduct future investigations, and the best way to stop additional sexual abuse and harassment within the office. The report additionally discovered that historically patriarchal relationships within the mayor’s workplace had created situations that led to harassment and abuse.

“Mayor Park had been a robust politician who was talked about as a possible presidential candidate. Alternatively, the sufferer was a lower-level civil servant,” the report mentioned. “It’s clear that the 2 had been in a hierarchical relationship in keeping with standing. Sexual harassment is more likely to happen inside the tradition of the group primarily based on patriarchal hierarchies and gender stereotypes. This case was not an exception.”

In a press release on Tuesday, the appearing mayor, Website positioning Jung-hyup, mentioned that the town authorities would “humbly settle for the outcomes of the probe with an perspective of self-reflection and introspection,” and promised to implement measures in opposition to sexual discrimination and sexual harassment.

By regulation, the legal case in opposition to Mr. Park was closed upon his demise in July. Final month, the police closed an investigation into whether or not the previous mayor’s co-workers had aided and abetted his predatory habits for a scarcity of proof.

The police haven’t dominated on the reason for Mr. Park’s demise, however earlier than his disappearance, he wrote a observe of apology to his household with directions on the place to scatter his ashes.

Whereas his mind-set on the time of his demise is unknown, Mr. Park, was as soon as thought of a champion of girls’s rights and the second strongest official in Seoul after the president. It’s believed he killed himself at some point after his secretary, whose identify and different private info haven’t been launched, went to the police along with her allegations.

In a press release launched earlier this month, the sufferer mentioned she hoped the fee’s findings would put an finish to any confusion across the case, even when the mayor might not be held accountable for his actions.

“I ask the fee to place to relaxation the confusion in our society by figuring out the info,” she wrote. “To not punish somebody, however to save lots of somebody’s life.”

Since coming ahead, the victim has faced a backlash for the mayor’s death, and a few critics have tried to publicize her id on-line. Earlier this month, a Seoul court docket sentenced an unidentified district official to 3 years and 6 months in jail for sexually assaulting the identical lady.

South Korea has confronted a sequence of sexual harassment circumstances amongst highly effective politicians in recent times. Kim Jong-cheol resigned as chairman of the progressive Justice Party on Monday after admitting to sexually harassing a member of his social gathering. Oh Keo-don, the former mayor of Busan, resigned in April after admitting to sexually assaulting a public servant in his workplace.

In its report, the Nationwide Human Rights Fee mentioned that different victims who come ahead about harassment and abuse needs to be assured an impartial investigation.

In case you are having ideas of suicide, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) or go to for a listing of extra assets.


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