|Pastor Lee Dong-hyun has admitted sexually molesting a female follower for years. |
/ Courtesy of Twitter
By Ko Dong-hwan
Pastor Lee Dong-hyun, head of popular Christian teenage evangelical community "Rise Up Movement," has admitted sexually molesting a female follower for years.
Lee, 48, harassed the high school girl ― who was 17 ― from 2005 until 2008, consistently demanding her to have sex with him, according to NewsNJoy, an online news outlet, Tuesday. When the victim refused, he threatened her, saying: "Your life will be ruined once our relationship is known among Korean society" and "How will you manage to get married after you had sex with me?" the report said, citing the victim, now 28.
NewsNJoy said Lee preferred female followers as his aides and when he took a small group of teenagers to Europe, he often slept in the girls' room.
With the scandal becoming viral, Lee said on the "Rise Up Movement" web page Tuesday he will no longer chair the group. The site said the community will cancel a mass Christian gathering planned for Aug 7. The group, established in 1999, has been holding an annual mass gathering at Seoul Plaza, drawing about 30,000 teenagers and parents.
"I committed a mistake when I was still a neophyte as a Christian leader," Lee said, according to Hankook Ilbo. "I admit the whole wrongdoing. I am sorry to all the students who followed my leadership."
Lee said his younger brother, who is a secretary general of "Rise Up Movement," will take his position.
The victim has not decided whether to file a suit against Lee, a report said.