Annandale man accused of sex assaults at employment agency

July 13, 2011

A 72-year-old Virginia man has been charged with sexually assaulting two women after forcing them to watch pornography after they sought help from the employment agency where he worked, Fairfax County police said.

Choon Sik Lee of Annandale was arrested on two counts of attempted forcible sodomy Saturday, according to Lucy Caldwell, a police spokeswoman.

Police said one incident occurred Thursday, when a 41-year-old woman from the Falls Church area went to the World Employment Agency in Annandale about 9 a.m. looking for job opportunities.

She found herself alone in the office with Lee, Caldwell said. He locked her in a room and told her to watch a video of sex acts and then assaulted her, Caldwell said.

The woman was able to flee the building after telling Lee that she needed to use the restroom, according to police.

Police said a 28-year-old woman from Fairfax City was sexually assaulted under similar circumstances May 19.

The women’s injuries were not life-threatening, and no one else was in the office at the time of the assaults, Caldwell said.

The World Employment Agency is a small company that employs up to four people, according to an online profile, and helps place people in jobs for a fee.

No one answered the phone at the company Wednesday. Lee was in custody, and it was unclear whether he had an attorney.

Police said they think there may be other victims of similar assaults. In an effort to find them, police are reaching out to the Hispanic and Korean communities in the Annandale area.

“This is an area of the county with a high Asian and Hispanic population,” Caldwell said. “Language and cultural issues may be reasons people do not come forward, and the detectives believe there are other unreported incidents.” The Falls Church woman is Asian; the Fairfax City woman is Hispanic.

Some women who are jobless and vulnerable could be coerced into not reporting such a crime, police said.

“We want to make sure women don’t ever feel like they have to do these things to get a job,” Caldwell said.

Victims are asked to call Detective Amy Palizzi at 703-246-7818. Interpreters are available.

Lee is being held at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center.

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