SEOUL, March 13 (UPI) -- South Korean police are scrutinizing numerous high-profile figures accused of sexual crimes amid the country's growing #MeToo movement.
The National Police Agency said Tuesday that inspectors are looking into sexual violence and harassment allegations made against a total of 55 people.
Official probes on ten of the alleged perpetrators, including renowned theatre director Lee Yoon-taek, have already begun, E Daily reported.
Police on Monday raided Lee's home in central Seoul and various theatre companies he worked in, and are wrapping up interviews with 16 alleged victims who filed complaints against him.
The former director, who has been accused of sexual violence and rape, is likely to be summoned for questioning sometime this week.
Police are also conducting preliminary probes on 15 figures including filmmaker Kim Ki-duk, photographer Rotta and Kim Duck-jin, the secretary-general of the Catholic Human Rights Committee of Seoul.
As for 30 other individuals accused of sexual crimes, including actor Cho Jae-hyun, investigators are aiming to confirm facts regarding the allegations against them.
With the number of #MeToo allegations increasing by the day, President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday encouraged the country's police force uphold the courage and dignity of women speaking out on sexual abuses made against them, Yonhap reported.
At a commissioning ceremony for graduates of Korean National Police University, Moon called on officers to treat victims of sexual violence with empathy and do their best to prevent any secondary damage that could occur during investigations, such as retaliation from the offender.