South Korean actress Jang Ja Yeon's sex assault case reopened

Late actress Jang Ja Yeon.
Late actress Jang Ja Yeon. PHOTO: THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SEOUL • South Korean actress Jang Ja Yeon committed suicide in 2009 at age 29, leaving behind notes that said she was forced by her agency to have sex with high-profile figures.

Now, a witness - an actress identified only as Yoon - has told local news networks JTBC and KBS what Jang once endured at the hands of a politician surnamed Cho.

After Jang danced on a table at the agency head's birthday, she was forced by Cho to sit on his lap, reported The Korea Herald.

"It was forceful. I remember Jang tried to stand up multiple times, but was forced to sit down again and again. Meanwhile, he touched where he shouldn't," Yoon said.

She added that she spoke 13 times to the police and the prosecution, but her testimony was not accepted.

"I thought it was strange, they seemed to believe Cho. I was just over 20, unable to judge the situation well, but even for me, it was strange.

"After the investigation, I learnt that Cho's wife was a prosecutor," she noted.

Jang's suicide probe prompted criticism from the public as the prosecution did not charge prominent figures whose names appeared in her notes, with the officials citing a lack of credibility as the reason.

But officials are now re-examining the case, with the move recommended by a special independent panel at the Ministry of Justice looking into past rulings.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2018, with the headline 'South Korean actress' sex assault case reopened'. Print Edition | Subscribe