[ED] Final verdict on ex-governor

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[ED] Final verdict on ex-governor

Supreme Court ruling to ensure new form of justice for women

The Supreme Court found An Hee-jung, the former South Chungcheong Province governor, guilty of sexual assault. An was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for raping and sexually assaulting his secretary, Kim Ji-eun.

On Monday, the top court upheld the Seoul High Court's verdict, noting that An's social, economic and political position placed him in a position to exert power over her although he may not have used physical force. A district court had acquitted An, 54, of rape and sexual assault in August 2018, outraging feminists and activists. Many welcomed the final ruling, saying the decision marks a new milestone in achieving justice for women in Korea.

Most controversial in the case was whether Kim's testimony could be trusted. That's because of the absence of physical evidence proving An's sexual assault. In the first trial, Kim's testimony was rejected on the grounds that she accompanied the former governor to a wine bar after the assault.

But the Seoul High Court reversed the decision, acknowledging that Kim's testimony was natural and that she had no reason to falsely accuse An. This was based on the principle of "gender sensitivity" that requires courts to deal with sexual abuse cases from the perspective of gender equality.

The top court's ruling holds great significance in that it can serve as an important occasion to establish new standards for sexual assault cases in our society. Yet this is not enough. Experts say the concept of gender sensitivity is still abstract and unclear and urged the Supreme Court to suggest legal principles concerning this matter.

Korea's "MeToo Movement" is expected to gain traction from the ruling and nobody can reverse this trend. Hopefully, the ruling will serve to terminate all types of sexual violence, including assault by abuse of authority.







Supreme Court ruling to ensure new form of justice for women

The Supreme Court found An Hee-jung, the former South Chungcheong Province governor, guilty of sexual assault. An was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for raping and sexually assaulting his secretary, Kim Ji-eun.

On Monday, the top court upheld the Seoul High Court's verdict, noting that An's social, economic and political position placed him in a position to exert power over her although he may not have used physical force. A district court had acquitted An, 54, of rape and sexual assault in August 2018, outraging feminists and activists. Many welcomed the final ruling, saying the decision marks a new milestone in achieving justice for women in Korea.

Most controversial in the case was whether Kim's testimony could be trusted. That's because of the absence of physical evidence proving An's sexual assault. In the first trial, Kim's testimony was rejected on the grounds that she accompanied the former governor to a wine bar after the assault.

But the Seoul High Court reversed the decision, acknowledging that Kim's testimony was natural and that she had no reason to falsely accuse An. This was based on the principle of "gender sensitivity" that requires courts to deal with sexual abuse cases from the perspective of gender equality.

The top court's ruling holds great significance in that it can serve as an important occasion to establish new standards for sexual assault cases in our society. Yet this is not enough. Experts say the concept of gender sensitivity is still abstract and unclear and urged the Supreme Court to suggest legal principles concerning this matter.

Korea's "MeToo Movement" is expected to gain traction from the ruling and nobody can reverse this trend. Hopefully, the ruling will serve to terminate all types of sexual violence, including assault by abuse of authority.









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