KPGA manager sentenced to prison for touching same-sex subordinate’s earlobe and buttocks

A manager who molested same-sex subordinates by touching their earlobes and buttocks has been sentenced to prison.

On the 15th, the Seongnam District Court Seongnam Support Criminal Division 6 (Judge Jeong Yeon-ju) sentenced Mr. A, who was charged with “indecent assault by force at work,” to six months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to take a 40-hour sexual assault treatment course and register his identity information.안전놀이터

For years, Mr. A had been sexually harassing his subordinates of the same sex by stroking their buttocks, touching their earlobes, and making lewd remarks in the office or restroom. Mr. A, a manager who oversaw the overall management of the organization, including human resources and sexual misconduct prevention education, was confirmed to be guilty after a police and prosecution investigation and was sent to trial in February last year.

The trial lasted for about a year and seven months, with nine accusers and four others who were molested but did not join the complaint being called as witnesses.

Mr. A, who denied the allegations in court, argued that the statements were exaggerated because “the complainants had not raised the issue of sexual harassment for a long time and only complained after the establishment of the labor union,” but this was not accepted.

“The manner in which the sexual harassment occurred, the words and actions during the harassment, etc. are quite similar to each other, and a number of witnesses besides the complainants have reported similar incidents,” the tribunal said. “Although it appears that the complainants raised the issue after the establishment of the union, as claimed by the defendant, it is quite possible that the complainants were hesitant to report their incidents at the time of the harassment, given that they were junior and had to continue to work in the same company as the defendant.”

As for whether the accused’s behavior constituted groping, the tribunal stated that “touching the buttocks or ears, even if the parties are of the same sex, is an act that would cause shame and disgust if it were not done in a very intimate relationship or with mutual consent, and considering the circumstances in which the groping occurred, the working relationship between the accused and the victims, and the words and actions of the accused during his contact with the victims, the accused’s behavior constituted groping.” The tribunal gave its reasons for the first sentence.

Mr. B, a KPGA employee who was one of the victims, said, “When the sexual harassment became public, there were many cases where the perpetrator was favored and the victims were blamed. Although the perpetrator left the company, he is still in the industry, which is very concerning.” Employee C said, “There are also frequent ‘secondary assaults’ against the victimized employees, and they are suffering greatly, but the court’s sentence proves the truth.”

“We hope that the organizational culture of professional sports organizations in Korea will become more mature through this case, and that it will serve as an opportunity for the human rights of employees at the association’s secretariat to increase,” said Heo Jun, chairman of the KPGA union.

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