South Korean police have detained a university design professor for allegedly forcing a former student to eat human feces and subjecting him to other cruel acts.

A police statement Tuesday said the alleged violence began after the professor hired the ex-student in 2013 as an employee at a design-related organization that he runs.

The professor and three other employees, also all of his ex-students, allegedly beat the victim with a baseball bat and other weapons over what they said were professional mistakes and poor character.

Police say they also forced the victim to eat their feces and drink their urine from plastic bottles on 16 occasions.

Police say the victim put up with it because he hoped the professor would help him get a job.