A Seoul court on Wednesday refused to issue an arrest warrant for former South Chungcheong Province Gov. An Hee-jung on sexual offense charges.
The Seoul Western District Court made the decision, saying that there is a low risk of him fleeing or destroying evidence.
An is accused of forcing his former secretary to have sex with him multiple times over the past year in Seoul and while on overseas business trips. Prosecutors filed for his arrest warrant last Friday on charges of sexual intercourse and harassment by abuse of occupational authority.
Former governor An Hee-jung leaves the detention center on Thursday around midnight. (Yonhap)
The secretary, Kim Ji-eun, made the revelation in a television news interview early this month. An resigned as governor in the wake of the scandal and has issued a public apology, but never admitted to the charges. He insists the relationship with her was consensual.
The court held an arraignment hearing for him on Wednesday, a rescheduled date as An refused to attend the hearing that was originally set for Monday. He said he cannot bear to cause any more trouble for the public but decided to come this time.
The politician was once considered a potential presidential candidate in the liberal bloc.
An faces another complaint filed by a research staff from a think tank, who also alleged she was sexually abused by him. But the charges made for the arrest warrant only include Kim's case since the latter complaint is still being investigated, prosecutors have said. (Yonhap)