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Theater director Lee indicted on sex assault allegations

Prosecutors indicted Lee Youn-taek, a famed theatrical director, Friday on allegations that he used his status to sexually harass or assault more than a dozen women.

Lee, 66, was formally charged with repeated sexual assaults of female junior members of his drama troupe since 2010, according to the Supreme Prosecutors' Office. He was arrested on March 23.


Lee Youn-taek (Yonhap)
Lee Youn-taek (Yonhap)

Lee was a leading figure in South Korea's theater circles and is one of several high-profile South Korean men who are under fire for allegations of sexual misconduct as the "Me Too" movement quickly spreads in the country.

He is accused of sexually assaulting 17 women on 62 occasions from 1999 to last year.

Prosecutors indicted him on suspected sexual crimes that were allegedly committed since April 2010 when a clause was codified to mandate additional punishments for repeated instances of sexual misconduct.

Victims have alleged that he raped many women over the years.

But police said rape charges cannot be placed, as the current law, which allows investigations of sex offenses without the victim's official complaint, only took effect in 2013, and many of the alleged incidents happened before that. (Yonhap)