China: ‘MeToo’ blow decision – Presenter acquitted of sexual harassment acquitted

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Blow on #MeToo movement in China is expected to succeed in acquitting a famous presenter in the country who was accused of sexual harassment.

The court ruled that there was insufficient evidence to support allegations of sexual harassment by 28-year-old Joe Xiaosuan, and ruled against the plaintiff.

Zhou Xiaosuan accused the well-known in 2018 presenter Joe Jun in the state CCTV network that he caressed and kissed her against her will in 2014, when she worked for him as a trainee. June denies the allegations from the outset.

The 28-year-old’s complaint quickly spread on social media and so, three years ago, she sued Joe for causing harm. The first hearing in the case was held behind closed doors in December 2020, while the second hearing yesterday, Tuesday, was also held behind closed doors.

The People’s Court of Hindian states in its verdict, in which it names Joe and Joe only by their last names, that the evidence submitted is “insufficient” to prove sexual harassment.

It was not clear if Joe was in court yesterday, and it was not possible to contact his lawyer.

What Joe said after the court ruling

Following the announcement of the court decision, Joe said that, after three years of fighting for her case, she feels “exhausted” and “frustratedFrom the verdict and considers that she was not given the opportunity to give a good account of what happened.

“I do not know if I have the courage to continue for another three years, so I do not know if I will say goodbye this time,” she said, adding that her team would appeal against the verdict. “We will definitely appeal, because in this case we did not look at any of the key facts at all, that is, all the videos from the surveillance cameras,” he said.

The movement #MeToo in China began in 2018, when a student in Beijing publicly accused her teacher of sexual harassment. This has spread to NGOs, the media and other industries.

The debate over #MeToo was then stifled, but the recent one scandals for sexual assault, involving tech giant Alibaba and celebrity artist Chris Wu, rekindled the issue.

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