Oh Keo-don stepped down as mayor of southern port Busan — a metropolis of three.5 million that hosts Asia’s greatest movie pageant — final yr following allegations he acted inappropriately in the direction of subordinates.
Three months later, Seoul mayor Park Received-soon was discovered lifeless of an obvious suicide after a lady staffer accused him of sexual harassment.
Each males are from President Moon Jae-in’s Democratic Occasion, which suffered crushing defeats in by-elections for his or her posts in April, giving the conservative opposition contemporary momentum forward of subsequent yr’s presidential ballot.
Oh, 72, insisted that any contact was unintended however earlier than coming into court docket informed reporters: “All faults lie in me.”
Busan District court docket Choose Ryu Seung-woo mentioned the accused had abused “his superior place” to commit office sexual harassment.
“Individuals who mustn’t have suffered are nonetheless struggling,” he added in accordance with Yonhap information company. “I urge you to empathise extra” with the victims.
South Korean society stays socially conservative regardless of its speedy rise into an industrial powerhouse, and sexual harassment victims usually face stress to remain silent for worry of public shaming.
However indicators of change emerged after the nation’s personal #MeToo motion, sparked in 2018 by prosecutor Website positioning Ji-hyun, who publicly accused a superior of groping her at a funeral, prompting many others to share their tales.
An assistant of provincial governor Ahn Hee-jung — additionally of the Democratic occasion and a former presidential contender — accused him of repeatedly raping her.
He resigned and was later convicted of sexual activity by abuse of authority, and is serving three and a half years in jail.