Jo Min-ki, South Korean Actor, Found Dead After Sexual Assault Allegations

South Korean actor Jo Min-ki was found dead Friday in the Seoul building where he lived, and according to Yonhap News agency, his death is being treated as a suicide.

The agency reported that Jo was found hanged in a storage area. He was 52 years old.

Jo had been accused by at least eight people of sexual assault and rape, and most of his alleged victims were students at Cheongju University, where he taught. As a result of the accusations, he lost his professorship.

Jo is among dozens of men in positions of power who have recently been accused of sexual misdeeds by women. The #MeToo movement has spread widely in South Korea since January, when a female prosecutor publicly spoke out about alleged workplace mistreatment after she reported being groped by a senior male prosecutor at a funeral in 2010. A flurry of other allegations followed across arts, entertainment, cinema and politics.

Jo initially insisted on his innocence but reportedly later apologized.

“Everything is my fault, and I am the one to blame,” he said on Feb. 27. “I am deeply sorry to all the victims for the pain I’ve caused, and from here on out, I will not avoid the social and legal consequences of my mistakes.”

Police were to question him next week, but the case will be dropped because of his death.

The actor appeared in multiple TV series and movies, including 2013 hit film “The Attorney. He was edited out of TV drama “Children of the Small God” and replaced by another actor.

South Korea’s suicide rate is among the highest in the world. In December 2017, K-pop star Jonghyun died by suicide at the age of 27.

— With files from The Associated Press

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the Canadian suicide hotline, available 24/7, at 1-800-668-6868. For more information on suicide and to find help nearest you, visit the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention.



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