Ex-ambassador to Ethiopia sentenced to one year in jail for sexual violence

SEOUL, Sept. 12 (Yonhap) — The Seoul Central District Court sentenced a former South Korean ambassador to Ethiopia to one year in prison Wednesday on charges of using his position to have sex with an aid agency employee and sexually harassing two others.

Kim Moon-hwan, a career diplomat who served as ambassador to Ethiopia from 2014-2017, was immediately put in jail following the verdict. The court also ordered him to take 40 hours of a sexual violence treatment course and banned him from taking jobs at agencies dealing with children and youths for three years.

“Even though he, as chief of mission, was in a position responsible for protecting overseas citizens and raising the country’s status in the host nation, he used this position to sexually assault or have sex with victims,” the court said.

Kim was charged with having sex with an employee from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), an aid agency under the foreign ministry, in 2015, and sexually harassing two other women in 2014 and 2017.

Kim denied the charges, claiming that the sex was consensual and that even though he patted the two volunteers on the hand and the shoulder as a gesture of encouragement, the contact was not sexual at all.

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