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South Korea professor accused of sexual harassment at top-ranked university

By Elizabeth Shim
More women have been coming forward about their experiences with sexual harassment amid the women-led #MeToo movement in South Korea. File Photo by Yonhap
More women have been coming forward about their experiences with sexual harassment amid the women-led #MeToo movement in South Korea. File Photo by Yonhap

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- A South Korean graduate student at Seoul National University, the nation's top-ranked school, has posted on campus a multipage exposé of her experience with sexual harassment, according to reports.

The student, who was not identified by Yonhap or local news service Money Today, said her professor made sexual advances during overseas conference trips.

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The woman posted her statements in English, Spanish and Korean. She recently completed her master's degree in Spanish and is currently studying abroad, according to the university.

The written statement alleges the university professor, who also served as her adviser, harassed her and targeted her with "sexual violence" for four years.

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"I want to tell the world of the unjust things that have happened at the Spanish department of Seoul National University," the student wrote. "Over the course of four years, I became a victim of sexual harassment, various forms of sexual violence and all kinds of human rights violations."

The student went on to explain she was coerced into traveling with the professor.

"He pressured me to go to a conference in Spain," the woman wrote.

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It was there, at their hotel, he began to engage in inappropriate behavior.

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"[The professor] said he wanted to see the burn scars on the inside of my thighs, then raised my skirt to feel my legs," the student said in her trilingual statement.

She also said he touched her hair and massaged her shoulders and arms without her permission, when she fell asleep on a bus.

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"He demanded I receive his permission before I date a man," she wrote.

The student said the university's decision to suspend the professor for three months was a light penalty for the pain caused.

More than 17 other students have experienced harassment from the same man, the woman alleged, according to reports.

The women-led #MeToo movement in South Korea has led to a surge of sexual assault accusations against powerful men by women.

Last week, former South Korean Gov. An Hee-jung was convicted of rape and sentenced to prison.

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