|A visitor pays her respects at the funeral altar of MSgt. Lee in the Korean Armed Forces Capital Hospital, Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, June 7. Yonhap|
Military prosecutors have requested arrest warrants for two Air Force noncommissioned officers for allegedly trying to persuade a female subordinate who later took her own life to drop a sexual assault complaint, the defense ministry said Saturday.
The victim, identified only as MSgt. Lee, was allegedly groped and suffered other abuse by a colleague in a car after a "forced" drinking session in March. She was found dead at her home inside the base in the western city of Seosan late last month. The colleague surnamed Jang was arrested June 2 on charges of sexual assault.
A military court in the defense ministry is to hold a hearing Saturday afternoon before deciding whether to issue warrants for the two NCOs ― a senior master sergeant and a warrant officer.
The two, both surnamed Noh, are accused of failing to report Lee's sexual abuse complaint against Jang to their superiors and trying to persuade her to drop the case, according to investigators.
The victim was affiliated with the 20th Wing in Seosan at the time of the incident. She applied for and was granted a transfer to another base but took her own life a few days later.
Military prosecutors raided the police corps of the Air Force headquarters and the police squadron of the 20th Fighter Wing earlier in the week to see if they properly conducted the initial investigation into the case.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Lee Seong-yong tendered his resignation last week amid the intense public fury the case has generated. President Moon Jae-in accepted the offer immediately. (Yonhap)