Guilty verdict overturned in S Korea #MeToo case

SEOUL (AFP) – A former prosecutor who was tried following groping allegations that fuelled South Korea’s #MeToo movement walked free yesterday after his conviction was quashed by the country’s top court.

Ahn Tae-geun, 53, was jailed for two years for abuse of power in January last year after being accused of repeatedly groping a female junior colleague at a funeral in 2015.

After Seo Ji-hyun filed a formal complaint, Ahn allegedly had her transferred to a provincial post, significantly impacting her career.

Seo went public with a tearful live television interview in 2018, which triggered a flood of similar accusations against powerful men in fields ranging from art to politics that grew into a South Korean #MeToo movement.

Ahn – who was separately fired for corruption in 2017 – could not be charged with sex abuse because the one-year statute of limitations had expired.

Instead he was indicted for abuse of power, accused of using his position to pressure senior prosecutors to reassign Seo to a junior position in revenge.