CHEONGJU, South Korea -- Police on Tuesday booked veteran actor Jo Min-ki over a string of sexual abuse allegations that have forced him out of his professorship and left his decadeslong acting career in tatters.
The Chungbuk Provincial Police Agency, headquartered in Cheongju, 140 kilometers south of Seoul, said that it has opened a probe into Jo after eight alleged victims as of Monday, mostly his former students, have claimed the actor sexually harassed them.
"If we conduct our probe by the end of (Tuesday), the number of alleged victims is expected to rise to around 10," a police official said. "Depending on their statements, additional charges or revised charges may be leveled against him."
Jo Min-ki (Yonhap)
Sources said that the purported victims charged that Jo, who taught acting at Cheongju University from 2010 through early this year, used his status as a professor to make unwanted physical contact, making them feel sexually humiliated.
The police also plan to investigate a news report that Jo had made a failed attempt to rape a part-time coffee shop worker.
Reversing his initial denial of sexual abuse allegations, Jo issued an apology, saying he would not shirk any legal responsibility for them.
"All this has stemmed from my carelessness and my fault," he said in a statement. "I deeply apologize to all the victims who were scarred by me, and I will not evade all legal and social responsibilities for my fault."
Jo made his debut as a theatrical actor in 1982, and since then he has successfully expanded his career to the small screen and films. (Yonhap)