The Korea Herald


Reopened actress suicide case shows prosecution did not indict any of key suspects in 2009

By Claire Lee

Published : July 6, 2018 - 18:24

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About two months after a reinvestigation on the 2009 sex abuse case of the late actress Jang Ja-yeon was ordered, a news report has claimed that none of the 20 key suspects at the time were indicted by the prosecution, although there was “sufficient evidence” that they had assaulted Jang as she claimed in a letter attributed to her.

Jang, 29 at the time, took her own life in 2009 leaving behind a letter accusing her agency of sexually exploiting her. In the letter, she claimed that she was forced to serve drinks and have sex with some 30 powerful figures, including high ranking public servants, journalists and TV drama producers, some 100 times against her will. The late actress reportedly identified the names of the prominent figures in her note.

A local news report on Friday claimed that the prosecution in 2009 chose not to charge the 20 key suspects, although some police reports contained sufficient evidence and testimonies from witnesses that they may have sexually assaulted Jang. 

Jang Ja-yeon (Yonhap) Jang Ja-yeon (Yonhap)

The local daily said they came to the conclusion after analyzing some 5,048 pages of court documents and police reports related to the 2009 investigation into the case.

The news report also found that Jang had been heavily relying on antidepressants for about a year leading up to her death.

Back in 2009, the prosecution only indicted Jang’s manager and the head of her agency. Some 10 others were also investigated but were never charged.
Earlier this week, the prosecution team reinvestigating Jang‘s case summoned a former president of a local daily for questioning.

The statute of limitations on Jang‘s case runs out on Aug. 4.