SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean police said Tuesday they have arrested a university design professor for forcing a former student to eat human feces and subjecting him to other cruel acts.
The alleged violence and abuse began in 2013 when the ex-student was working as an employee at the professor's non-profit organization, according to a statement from Seongnam Jungwon police station just south of Seoul.
The professor and three other employees, all former students, allegedly beat the victim with a baseball bat and other weapons over what they said were professional mistakes and poor character. Two of those former students have also been arrested, police said.
The defendants also placed plastic bags over the victim's head and filled them with pepper spray and forced him to eat their feces and drink their urine from plastic bottles on 16 different occasions, police said, describing the victim as a "modern-day slave."
The victim put up with it because he hoped the professor would help him become a professor, too, according to police.
Authorities did not release the names of the victim or his alleged assailants.
Attempts to reach the victim were unsuccessful. Police denied an AP request to interview the professor.
The professor also forced the victim to work at a restaurant and took his salary, police said.
Authorities became aware of the case after getting a tip from an employee at the victim's restaurant.
The non-profit run by the professor publishes academic journals and hosts forums on topics related to design, according to police.
Teachers frequently used corporal punishment to discipline South Korean students in the past, but the practice has faded dramatically in recent years.