Police Reportedly Investigating Text Message Sent To Kim Gun Mo By His Accuser
The police are reportedly investigating a text message sent to Kim Gun Mo from “A,” the woman who has accused him of sexual assault.
In December 2019, the YouTube channel Garo Sero Institute reported on the story of “A,” who accused Kim Gun Mo of sexually assaulting her at an entertainment bar in Gangnam where she worked. One of Garo Sero Institute’s hosts, a lawyer named Kang Yong Suk, subsequently filed a formal complaint against Kim Gun Mo as “A’s” legal representative. Since then, other women have also come forward accusing him of physical assault and sexual harassment.
On February 3, JoongAng Ilbo released a report stating that the Seoul Gangnam Police Station had received the contents of a message sent by “A” that remained on Kim Gun Mo’s cell phone. The message was sent in April 2017 and read, “ㅋㅋㅋ [sound for laughter] we’re on the same plane ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ.” Kim Gun Mo did not reply to the message, which was sent eight months after the alleged assault took place in August 2016.
Prior to this report, Kang Yong Suk had stated publicly that “A” initially tried to forget what happened and move on with her life. He had also previously shared “A’s” story of running into Kim Gun Mo on a plane from Jeju Island in April 2017. Kang Yong Suk said, “The victim said that she saw Kim Gun Mo on the plane and that he pretended he didn’t know her.”
However, Kim Gun Mo’s representatives are pointing to this message as evidence that “A” had friendly feelings toward Kim Gun Mo and that this was not the behavior of a victim towards her attacker. Kim Gun Mo’s side also claimed that he did not reply because he did not know who was sending him the message.
A source from the Gangnam Police Station stated, “At this stage, we cannot say whether there are or are not grounds for suspicion against Kim Gun Mo based on just this text message. We also need to investigate the context around the message.”
A lawyer named Park Sung Min stated, “It may seem that this message is advantageous for Kim Gun Mo’s side, but this is a situation that may require sensitivity to gender issues, so it’s hard to rule one way or another about the alleged crime. An important point going forward is whether the victim can back up her testimony with objective evidence.” “Sensitivity to gender issues” refers to the requirement for investigators and courts to consider the victim’s point of view and their circumstances when investigating or ruling on their behavior in the case of a sexual assault.
“A” reportedly also sent other text messages to Kim Gun Mo. In March 2018, she mentioned the “Me Too” movement and asked if he had any apology to make. Kim Gun Mo did not reply to this message. In July 2018, “A” sent him a message inviting him to join a mobile game along with a download link.
Kang Yong Suk did not respond to reporters’ requests for comment on “A’s” text messages.