Photo: Seo Ji-hyeon. Credit: Marie Claire.
The Digital Sex Crimes Task Force under the Justice Ministry 법무부 디지털성범죄 TF nearly disbanded after its leader Seo Ji-hyeon 서지현 quit in protest. Seo, a prosecutor, is usually credited with sparking South Korea’s version of the #metoo movement when she blew the whistle in 2018 on her boss An Tae-geun 안태근’s sexual harassment and cover-up against her, leading to two years in prison for An on the charges of abuse of authority.
On May 16, the day before new Justice Minister Han Dong-hun 한동훈 법무부장관 took office, the Justice Ministry dismissed Seo from the task force and ordered her to report to the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office 수원지방검찰청 for reassignment. Seo, whose term as the task force leader was to last through August, resigned instead, calling the reassignment “insulting 모욕적”.
Seventeen out of 22 members of the task force also resigned in solidarity, all but disbanding the task force established in the wake of massive online sex crime cases such as the Nth Room Case N번방 사건. Meanwhile, for the new Justice Ministry spokesperson, Han appointed Sin Dong-won 신동원, who as a prosecutor leaked Seo’s personnel files as she was pursuing her claim against her boss.