South Korean stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon have been sentenced by a South Korean court to a jail sentence of six and five years in prison, respectively, for sexually assaulting drunk and unconscious women. Jung, who was also charged with filming the rape and distributing the footage, was given a longer prison sentence than Choi.

On Friday (Nov 29), singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young, 30, and musician Choi Jong-hoon, 29, were found guilty of conspiring together and participating in the sexual assault of women who were “incapable of resisting”, according to the Seoul Central District Court.
In addition to rape charges, Jung was also convicted of filming women against their will and then sharing the sexually explicit videos on an online group chat.
Besides the six-year sentence for Jung and five-year sentence for Choi, the court ruled that both men would be mandated to complete 80 hours of a sexual violence treatment programme. They have also been banned from working with children.

Presiding Judge Kang Seong-soo said that Jung had raped women who were “drunk and unable to resist, filmed them nude and having sex, then spread it on a group chat”.

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“We can’t imagine the pain the victims might have felt who found out later,” said Judge Kang, who also commented on an observation that Jung seemed to view the victims just as a tool for his pleasure.

In the final testimony, Jung’s words were—”I deeply regret my foolishness and I feel great remorse. From now on, I shall only… live in remorse.”

Jung, whose claim to fame came from his success on a local talent show, resigned from the music business in March, after admitting that he secretly filmed women without their consent and shared the footage.

The court also said that Choi, who was a former band member of famous K-pop group F.T. Island, “did not feel remorse after mass-raping drunken victims”.

Distraught and angry K-pop fans and social media users have reacted strongly to the length of the prison sentences—for a crime of that magnitude, people are saying that Jung and Choi should have received harsher punishments.

“That isn’t good enough… they should’ve got a longer sentence! Those poor girls will be suffering for the rest of their lives!” wrote one Twitter user.

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“Also their assets ought to be seized and given to the add 25 yrs to the sentence,” was the immediate reply of another.

“Should be more than 5 years. The sexual abuse laws are too permissive,” said a social media user.

“5-6 years is a joke for every single woman in SK and the world. For the love of God, they committed sexual assault crimes, they forced women, made feel’em insecure (depression, anxiety, etc. too) and ruined their lives,” someone posted.

Jung and Choi’s case is not the only scandal or sexual mistreatment and assault that has shocked the world of Korean music and K-pop in recent years.

Two other K-pop stars who joked about gang-raping women with their friends are now serving time in prison.

The case against the two was unearthed during another police investigation into sexual crimes, involving K-pop superstar Seungri—who was allegedly a member of Jung’s online group chat and had access to the sexual videos Jung shared.

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Seungri, who is a former member of K-pop boyband Big-bang, has been charged with supplying prostitutes to potential business investors.

In the course of investigating Seungri, the authorities reportedly found Jung’s videos. /TISG