K-pop stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon have been sentenced by a South Korean court for gang-raping vulnerable women.
The two pop stars, aged 30 and 29, were sentenced to six and five years in prison respectively. Jung was also charged with filming the assault and distributing the footage on a group chat.
The case against the two men was uncovered during a separate police investigation into K-pop star Seungri, who stood accused of providing prostitution services and sharing secretly recorded sex videos, and who was reportedly a member of Jung’s group chat.
Police reportedly found Jung’s videos while investigating Seungri’s case, which saw him charged with supplying prostitutes to potential business investors.
In March, Jung admitted secretly filming the women and sharing the videos, leading the 30-year-old to quit the music business.
Judge Kang Seong-soo said Jung had raped women who were ‘drunk and unable to resist, filmed them nude and having sex, then spread it on a group chat’, BBC News reports.
The judge continued:
We can’t imagine the pain the victims might have felt who found out later.
In his final testimony, Jung – who rose to fame on Mnet’s reality television talent show, Superstar K4 – said he ‘deeply regrets’ his ‘foolishness’, stating: ‘I feel great remorse. From now on, I shall only… live in remorse.’
The court said Choi – a former member of the band F.T. Island, which had numerous number one albums in South Korea – ‘did not feel remorse after mass-raping drunken victims’.
Both men will have to do 80 hours of sexual violence treatment courses in addition to their prison sentences, and are banned from working with children.
This case is one of several sex scandals within the K-pop world, although it is the highest-profile example in South Korea and has prompted widespread anger.
This epidemic of spycam crimes, which has seen a multitude of men secretly filming women without their consent, has led to women demonstrating in Seoul chanting: ‘My life is not your porn.’
Known as molka, South Korean spycam videos are largely made by men secretly filming women in schools, toilets and elsewhere – although the term can also be applied to footage of consensual sex.
Today’s verdict follows the death of Goo Hara, a former member of girl group Kara, in an apparent suicide after she was blackmailed over revenge porn.
Goo’s ex-boyfriend last year threatened to ‘end her entertainment career’ by leaking the footage after they split up last year, the South China Morning Post reports. CCTV footage at the time showed her kneeling before him apparently begging him not to, with him later being convicted of blackmail.
According to police data, approximately 5,500 people were arrested for molka offences in South Korea last year alone – 97% of them men – with women left to feel deep shame about the videos despite being the victims.
Because of this shame and a fear they will be judged for the videos, many women do not want to come forward. However, these crimes are now being brought to light.
Hopefully this case will act as a turning point and will show women they are able to come forward, and that justice will be served.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2:30 and 7-9:30). Alternatively you can contact Victim Support on 08 08 16 89 111.
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on its website or on its helpline – 0808 800 5005.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).