A former South Korean diplomat was sentenced to three years in prison by a regional court on Friday for sexually assaulting a minor when he was stationed in Chile.
The Gwangju District Court found the defendant, only identified by his last name Park, guilty of the sexual harassment charge and ordered his immediate detention.
The former councilor of the South Korean Embassy to the Latin American country was indicted without detention in May for molesting a 14-year-old girl while he was in Chile. He apparently taught her Korean. He has been removed from his post by the foreign ministry.
|The file photo, dated Dec. 19, 2016, shows the blurred image of the diplomat convicted of sexually harassing a minor while he was stationed in Chile. The captured footage was released by a Chilean broacasting company. (Yonhap)|
The court said he has seriously undermined the integrity of diplomats as public servants and tainted the country's reputation.
The ruling on Park is expected to affect the investigations and their subsequent court proceedings for other similar sexual assault cases involving diplomats that have been laid bare in recent months.
A separate probe is under way into an ambassador to Ethiopia, after allegations were raised that he sexually harassed one of his subordinates at his home last month.
An incumbent ambassador to a Middle East country was also found last year to have been punished for sexually assaulting an embassy worker.
The foreign ministry launched a task force to look into measures to bolster the working discipline for diplomats on overseas missions in a bid to prevent the recurrence of such misdeeds. (Yonhap)