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Sexual harassment case rocks top South Korea university

May 2 (UPI) — A professor at South Korea’s most prestigious university who was charged with sexual harassment and embezzlement of research funds received a three-month suspension from an internal committee.

But the penalties are not sufficient for the violations and should be revised, said President Sung Nak-in of Seoul National University.

Local news service News 1 reported Wednesday the sentence of suspension was issued by a disciplinary committee at the university, the most selective school in competitive South Korea.

A source at the university said the decision, which came Tuesday, is being immediately disputed at the most senior level, and will be “reconsidered.”

The defendant only as identified as “Professor H” in local media has been charged with sexually harassing students, forcing them to run personal errands, and verbal harassment.

The charges were first made in March, according to local news service Newsis.

The defendant targeted his fellow professors, students he was mentoring and undergraduates, according to the report.

The charges were filed with the campus “human rights center.”

Following Tuesday’s on-campus verdict, student body representatives issued a statement strongly opposing the decision to reinstate the professor following the suspension period.

“The reinstatement of Professor H will have a great negative impact on the students,” student leaders said Wednesday.

The students said they had called for permanent dismissal of the professor.

Movements against sexual harassment like the #MeToo campaign have gained traction in South Korea.

A recent survey from the Korea Womens’ Development Institute showed about 80 percent of South Koreans support the #MeToo movement, the Korea Herald reported Wednesday.

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