TAEKWONDO, Korea — A Korean man accused of touching a teen girl during a group hug and forcing her to kiss a colleague has been sentenced to three years in prison.
The Seoul District Court on Thursday convicted the man, Lee Jae-hoon, of sexual harassment and inciting sexual harassment against a 15-year-old girl, a court official said.
He pleaded not guilty.
The court has not yet made a decision on whether he will appeal.
The girl had reported the incident to the police in August after she said Lee and another male employee groped her during a family-friendly lunch with the two friends, according to a report in The Korea Herald.
The court ruled that the incident violated the statute of limitations and that Lee was guilty of “gross negligence.”
It also ordered him to pay the girl’s tuition fee and a sum of 50,000 won ($40,500), according to the report.
The case drew widespread attention in the South Korean capital, Seoul, after a number of women reported similar incidents of harassment and inappropriate behavior by Lee in the months after he was hired by the city’s Taekwondo gym in August.