There was a systematic attempt within KAFA to cover up Lee Hyun-ju’s sexual assault of another director.
An investigative commission created by the Korean Film council confirmed that there was a systematic attempt to conceal director Lee Hyun-Ju’s rape of a colleague within the Korean Academy of Film Art (KAFA). Moreover, it has also verified that Lee or others in KAFA demanded that the victim drop the charges against her.
On March 20, the Korean Film Council said. ” We set up an investigative committee to look into the claims made by the victim and that professor A, who was aware of the incident, took no measures to protect the victim. Further, the committee also confirmed that there was an attempt to cover up the incident.”
According to the commission, professor A demanded that the victim drop charges against Lee several times. Additionally, they verified that professor A also made inappropriate remarks towards the victim. In line with this professor’s past actions, they also appeared as a witness on behalf of director Lee on the trial began. During the hearing, professor A provided testimony that could have been detrimental to the victim’s claim. The exact relationship between Lee Hyun-ju and this professor is unclear.
Although aware of the rape and the victim’s accusations, this professor neglected to report the incident to the appropriate authorities within KAFA. Thereby blatantly overlooking and denying any protective measure for the victim.
In addition to Professor A’s attempted to belittle the claims of the victim, the committee discovered that KAFA administrative staff members were also involved in the attempted cover-up. According to the committee, staff members failed to followed proper procedures to report the incident. Instead, they had provided Lee with documents used in the trial. As a result, the truth of the circumstance remained hidden for a prolonged period.
“We were not informed of the incident, and we remained unaware of that a ruling had been given because the concerned parties also paid little attention to the progression of the trial,” said the committee. Accordingly, the result of the committee’s investigation has been passed on to an audit team. This team will then carry out appropriate disciplinary procedures to involved personnel.
The chairman of the KAFA, Oh Suk-gun, offered an apology to the victim once he was informed of the investigation’s results. Given the startling discoveries the commission uncovered, the chairman also announced plans to establish appropriate countermeasures to prevent a reoccurrence.
While providing little solace for the victim, last year the court ruled Lee guilty of rape. Subsequently, Lee announced her retirement from the entertainment industry once the trial came to light.
Translated by O.C
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