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Ex-lawmaker Chung Bong-ju’s accuser repeats sexual assault allegation

An alleged victim of sexual harassment at the hands of Chung Bong-ju came forward Tuesday, refuting the former lawmaker’s claims of innocence in a press conference.

Lawyer Ha Hee-bong, who represents an alleged sexual harassment victim of former lawmaker Chung Bong-ju, speaks at a press conference in Seoul’s Seocho District after the victim left the conference. Yonhap
Lawyer Ha Hee-bong, who represents an alleged sexual harassment victim of former lawmaker Chung Bong-ju, speaks at a press conference in Seoul’s Seocho District after the victim left the conference. Yonhap

According to the accuser, who has chosen not to disclose her identity, Chung forcibly kissed her at a hotel in Yeouido, Seoul, on Dec. 12, 2011, when she was a university student.

Accompanied by her lawyers, the alleged victim showed the press a copy of her check-in history on mobile application Foursquare, before the incident occurred.

The record is part of evidence she has put forward to support her claim she was there on that day to keep an appointment with Chung.

Chung, a hopeful to be Seoul mayor, has denied the allegation and said in a press release he did not meet his accuser on that day and did not act in an inappropriate way toward her.

“I felt a tremendous sense of betrayal over Chung’s sexual misconduct as he was a respected politician. His denial only adds insult to the essence of the #MeToo movement,” the accuser told reporters, explaining she wanted to “reveal the truth herself” through the press conference.

“I was under a tremendous amount of pressure and fear after I revealed the incident, as many (of Chung’s supporters) did not believe it, but I took the courage to come forward as I began to understand the fear that other sexual assault victims might face as well,” she said.

Tuesday’s press conference came 20 days after the alleged victim told local news outlet Pressian that she was sexually assaulted by Chung, some hours before Chung was scheduled to hold a press conference to declare his bid for Seoul mayor in the June local election.

Following the report, Chung claimed his innocence, saying the story was “totally fabricated,” while taking legal action against the media outlet’s reporters.

Ha Hee-bong, legal counsel for the alleged victim, said at Tuesday’s press conference that her legal team is considering suing Chung for defamation, as the statute of limitations on the case has expired.

By Bak Se-hwan (sh@heraldcorp.com)
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