|Yoon Chang-jung(Yonhap News)|
U.S. authorities investigating the alleged sexual abuse case involving former presidential spokesperson Yoon Chang-jung have decided to indict him on misdemeanor sexual abuse charges and are waiting for the issuance of an arrest warrant from the court, Segye Ilbo reported Thursday.
“The investigators have effectively wrapped up their probe and are in the final stage of warrant examination on his arrest,” reported the local daily, citing officials from the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and federal prosecutors’ office in the United States.
But the development seems unlikely to have legal consequences for Yoon. He can simply stay in Korea, refusing to comply with the investigation and ignoring the arrest warrant until the statute of limitations expires in three years’ time.
Under extradition treaty between the two countries, Korea is only required to surrender suspects charged with felonies punishable for sentences of more than a year. Yoon’s misdemeanor case does not meet these requirements.
Under Washington D.C. laws, sexual offenses are categorized into four different degrees according to the seriousness of the crimes. There is a separate misdemeanor charge for minor offenses.
A person is convicted of misdemeanor sexual abuse if one engages in either a sexual contact or sexual act with another person without his or her permission. Upon conviction, the person can be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.