Jang Ja-yeon's 2009 suicide: Committee not calling for new probe into sexual-assault claims

None of the people who allegedly preyed on South Korean actress Jang Ja-yeon before her suicide in 2009 has been charged in court.
None of the people who allegedly preyed on South Korean actress Jang Ja-yeon before her suicide in 2009 has been charged in court.PHOTO: THE KOREA HERALD / ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SEOUL - When South Korean actress Jang Ja-yeon committed suicide in 2009, she left behind an account of being sexually abused by 40 men in the business and media circles.

None of the people who allegedly preyed on her has been charged in court despite public calls for justice.

Now, it looks like a more recent campaign by her actress colleagues Yoon Ji-oh and Lee Mi-sook, as well as netizens, to punish the sexual predators has suffered the same fate.

A committee convened by the Ministry of Justice to relook the suicide said the 2009 investigation was flawed, but did not call for a new probe into the alleged sexual misdeeds.

But the committee suggested that the former chief executive of Jang's management agency should be questioned again over the testimony he provided in the past, reported the soompi portal.

The committee's recommendations came from a review of a 250-page report that was submitted after the case was reopened in 2018.

The committee noted that Jang's contract stipulated that she could not say no to drinking assignments.

 
 

The committee could not confirm if Jang, 29, had left behind a separate list of sexual-predator names, and noted that it was hard to establish the facts since she was dead.

The committee said that not everything mentioned in Jang's account met the requirements to certify a crime had taken place, and that the people - who were interviewed when the case was reopened - had not come across a list of names.

The latest turn of events has left many netizens fuming.

One person, CE_Ryen, posted: "I'm not surprised that they couldn't find much; those involved have probably destroyed most of the evidence."

Some even harboured darker thoughts.

A netizen, Trinity99, wrote: "I think she was actually murdered. If you have enough money and power, you can get away with murder and I think that is the case here."