.sexual harassment

The defence Ministry in South Korea says it has arraigned an Air Force noncommissioned officer accused of sexually harassing a female colleague, which made her commit suicide.

The defence ministry disclosed this in a statement issued in Seoul on Monday.

The statement said the master sergeant, surnamed Jang, was suspected of sexually abusing the victim of the same rank inside a car on their way back to their base after a drinking session in March.

However, in June 2021, she was found dead in an apparent suicide after complaining of the Air Force’s mishandling of the case.

Amid intense public fury, the case was referred to the defense ministry, and Jang was detained in June.

“The defense ministry prosecution indicted Jang on charges of sexual harassment and inflicting injury, as well as violating the Additional Punishment Law on Specific Crimes.

“The alleged violation of the additional punishment law was applied as the suspect threatened the victim with retaliation if she did not forgive him.’’

The ministry said the military prosecutors raided the public affairs office of the Air Force headquarters as part of an extensive probe without specifying details.

The military came under criticism following revelations by the victim’s family that the victim’s superiors, tried to persuade her to reach a settlement with the suspect without taking due protective measures in a suspected attempt to cover up the case.

According to the statement, three Air Force noncommissioned officers, including Jang, have been detained, and dozens are under probe.

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