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Ex-Gov. An presents himself to face sex violence probe

HONGSEONG/SEOUL -- Embattled former provincial governor An Hee-jung presented himself at a prosecutors' office in Seoul on Friday to face questioning over allegations that he sexually assaulted at least two women, including his secretary.

An apologized to the public on arrival at the Seoul Western District Prosecutors' Office at around 5 p.m., his first public appearance since the scandal broke early this week.

"I apologize to the public and the people in my province," he said. "I feel truly sorry to my wife and children. ... I will earnestly answer and comply with the investigation," the former governor of South Chungcheong Province told reporters.

Ex-governor An Hee-jung (Yonhap)
Ex-governor An Hee-jung (Yonhap)

The once prominent liberal politician had been out of public view since Kim Ji-eun, his secretary, revealed in a television news interview early this week that she was forced to have sex with him four times over the past eight months.

An resigned as the governor of South Chungcheong Province following the allegation.

Prosecutors launched a probe into the allegations but have yet to subpoena him. He came to the prosecution office voluntarily. 

The prosecution said they also questioned the alleged victim.

An previously announced that he would hold a press conference on Thursday to explain his stance over the situation. But he abruptly called it off two hours before the scheduled time after another allegation was made by a female research fellow at a local institute. She also claimed An sexually assaulted her.

An had been billed as a potential presidential candidate in the liberal bloc. He was the runner-up to Moon Jae-in in the Democratic Party's primary ahead of last year's presidential election. (Yonhap)