Korean professor's Taiwan sexual harassment conviction affirmed

World | 28 Feb 2020 2:11 pm

The Taiwan High Court on Thursday upheld a 14-month prison sentence given to a South Korean assistant professor convicted of sexually harassing two female students at a university in Taipei in 2017.

In a separate civil suit, the man was also ordered by the court to pay NT$800,000 (US$26,304) in damages to the two women, with one receiving NT$500,000 and the other NT$300,000, CNA reports.

The ruling was final and cannot be appealed, the court said.

The case stemmed from 2018, when Park Jae-kyung was accused of repeatedly and inappropriately touching female students against their will while an assistant professor at National Chengchi University (NCCU) from March to May 2017.

Following an investigation by Taipei prosecutors, Park was indicted on charges of sexual harassment and sentenced in December 2018, to 14 months in prison, after the two students filed a lawsuit against him.

NCCU subsequently terminated Park's contract, and he was barred from leaving the country by the Taipei District Court.

Pleading not guilty, Park appealed the case to the Taiwan High Court and attended a court hearing in May last year.

Although the lower court had previously prohibited Park from leaving the country, that order expired on April 7 and the High Court failed to extend it.

He was later found to have left Taiwan on July 16 last year, and did not attend subsequent hearings last October and on Feb. 13 this year.

On Thursday, the High Court apologized for the oversight that led to no new order being issued barring Park from leaving Taiwan.

Meanwhile, a directed verdict was handed down by the court, upholding the lower court ruling against Park sentencing him to 14 months in prison and ordering him to pay NT$800,000 in damages to the two students.

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