Court sets Aug 25 as trial date for molest case involving South Korean pastor

GEORGE TOWN: The Magistrate's Court here has fixed Aug 25 as the trial date for 55-year-old South Korean pastor Jee Jong Hoon, who allegedly molested a man 21 years ago.

Magistrate Rosnee Mohd Radzuan set the date on Wednesday (April 14) after Jee's lawyer Adlin Farhana Ismail requested the court to set the date of the trial for the case.

Prosecuting officer Inspector Zaida Azwa told the court that three witnesses will testify on the trial's first day, including the case's investigating officer.

An international sign language interpreter was present to assist the accused during the proceedings.

The accused - who is speech- and hearing-impaired - allegedly used criminal force on a man who was then 20-years-old by touching his private parts, hugging and kissing his cheek and lips with the intention to outrage his modesty at a house in Gelugor in 2000.

If found guilty of the charge under Section 354 of the Penal Code, Jee may face a jail term of up to 10 years, a fine, whipping or any two of the punishments upon conviction.

He faces two other counts of outraging the modesty of two men in Butterworth.

Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Huzir Mohamed reportedly said six police reports – five in Penang and one in Selangor – were lodged against the suspect.

He had said the suspect was initially detained on Nov 23 and remanded until Nov 30 and was placed under quarantine until Dec 8, as he had close contact with a detainee who tested positive for Covid-19.

It was reported that the victims consisted of five men, aged between 27 and 40, who are members of an association for people with hearing impairments, and the suspect had come to Malaysia on the invitation of the association's founder to teach the Bible since 1998.

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