World

SEOUL – Two aides of South Korea religious leader Jeong Myeong-seok, who was previously convicted with the sexual molestation of his female followers, were arrested on Tuesday as accomplices to the pastors alleged sex crimes.

A court in Daejeon issued arrest warrants for the two aides, citing their flight risk and the possibility of evidence being destroyed. Arrest warrants for four other former officials were dismissed as they have since left the group.

The two aides are accused of luring women to have sexual intercourse with Jeong.

In particular, the prosecution charged one of the two arrested, Kim Ji-sun, as a perpetrator of sexual assault, considering her role in the religious organisation, popularly known as JMS. Kim is reportedly known as Jeongs successor.

Multiple sexual abuse allegations were raised against Jeong and his aides after the release of the Netflix documentary series titled In The Name Of God: A Holy Betrayal, which shed light on the group and its misconduct.

Some acts that were brought to light included attempts at brainwashing and Jeongs alleged sexual abuse of numerous female believers. The eight-part series also discussed three other religious figures and their own alleged crimes.

Following the release of the series, some of Jeongs confidants flatly denied allegations that they had taken part in aiding his sexual assault crimes, claiming that they were the ones who actually helped separate and protect female victims from Jeong.

But the victims refuted these claims, saying that Kim and her aides were the ones who took the victims to Jeongs room. They said the accomplices would know very well about the sexual crimes Jeong has allegedly committed.

Jeong was arrested and indicted on charges of sexually assaulting Ms Maple Yip, 28, a JMS member and Hong Kong national, 17 times from February 2018 to September 2021 at a training centre in South Chungcheong Province.

He is also accused of touching the body of a 30-year-old Australian believer five times from July 2018 to the end of that year. In January, three Korean female JMS members also sued Jeong, claiming that they were victims of his sex crimes.

Jeong walked free on parole in February 2018 after serving 10 years in prison for molesting four foreign JMS members in their 20s from August 2001 to April 2006. THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK Remote video URL More On This Topic South Korean cult JMS raided over religious leaders alleged sex crimes 6 more women accuse South Korean cult leader of sexual abuse as Netflix series exposes his actions

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