A former South Korean presidential candidate and a provincial governor, Mr Ahn Hee-Jung, got a sentence of three and a half year of jail in a case on Friday. Allegations of rape were charged on him by his aide.
A lower court acquitted Hee-Jung last year and the verdict raised quite a lot of controversy in the feminist's community in South Korea.
He is found guilty in charges against him, including a charge of coercive intercourse. Hee-Jung was seen as a strong contender for the present President in the upcoming 2022 presidential elections in South Korea. The crimes committed by him are done before the speculations of him becoming a president.
The verdict is given by Seoul’s High Court. His is the biggest name caught in South Korea in #MeToo movement.
The former governor is found guilty of raping her secretary many times between 2017 and February last year. The woman came out when #MeToo movement was ongoing in the country. She came live on a television show to talk about her past with Hee-Jung.
A lower court had acquitted Ahn citing that there is little to no evidence against him. He pleaded in the court that sex between the two was always consensual.
The higher court, however, said that it is clear that Ahn used his position to satisfy himself. "It seems evident that Ahn was aware of the power imbalance between him and Kim,” said the Judge in his Verdict.
Overturning lower court’s decision, the court said, “Kim's testimonies are consistent and align with those of other witnesses.”
A coalition of more than One Hundred fifty human rights and feminists said in a joint statement, "We still have work to do. What we need is a society where all victims of sexual violence can receive social and legal protection without having to risk losing everything by making a media appearance."