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29th September 2022

K-pop Stars Jung Young And Choi Jong Jailed On Sexual Assault

K-pop stars Jung Young and Choi Jong Hoon jailed on Sexual Assault
K-pop stars Jung Young and Choi Jong Hoon jailed on Sexual Assault

Two K-Pop stars, Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon who are top members of a popular South Korea all-boys music group, have been sentenced to prison on gang rape charges.

The two singers were convicted of charges of aggravated rape after raping women who were ‘drunk and unable to resist’ during parties in Hongcheon in January 2016 and Daegu in March 2016.

Jung, 30, was also charged with filming the sexual assault and sharing the footage with friends in mobile phone chatroom groups. He has been sentenced to six years in prison, while Choi, 29, has been sentenced to five years. Both men have also been sentenced to undergo 80 hours in a sexual violence rehabilitation programme, and they have been banned from employment at children and youth facilities for five years.

According to the report by CNN, the allegations against the K-Pop stars of Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon were first made public in March, in the so-called “Burning Sun scandal.”

The Burning Sun club, located in Seoul’s upscale Gangnam neighbourhood, was allegedly the site of bribery, violence against customers, securing prostitutes for VIPs, rape, drug trafficking and drug use, according to the Seoul Metropolitan Police.

South Korean police confirmed that Jung and Choi were among 10 members of the group chat. Jung was arrested several days later, admitting to the charges and apologizing to his victims.

The investigation into Jung began during a separate probe into K-pop idol Seungri. The Big Bang star, who oversaw publicity for Burning Sun, was accused of procuring women for prostitution, and was also in the group chat. In March, the 28-year-old announced his retirement from the entertainment industry, saying he was being “treated as a nation’s enemy during the investigation.”

The K-Pop stars had admitted to the charges of secretly filming and distributing sex videos, but denied the charge of rape, while F.T. Island star Choi had denied all criminal charges against him. However, Judge Kang Seong-soo told the Seoul Central District Court that the pair had raped women ‘who were drunk and unable to resist, filmed them nude and having sex, then spread it on a group chat’. ‘We can’t imagine the pain the victims might have felt who found out later.’ He continued: ‘Jung argued that his sexual act was done with mutual agreement, while Choi flatly denied having sex with the victims. But Jung confessed he had sex (with the women) together with Choi, and his confession was also proved by their KakaoTalk chats.

‘In this sense, it can be recognised that they jointly raped drunk women.’ The court said that Choi ‘did not feel remorse after mass-raping drunken victims’, while in Jung’s final testimony, he said: ‘I deeply regret my foolishness and I feel great remorse. From now on, I shall only… live in remorse.’ Both Jung and Choi burst into tears after being given their sentences.

In addition to the two stars, three other men were given their sentences today – the older brother of singer Yuri and another defendant received sentences of four and five years in prison respectively for their part in the sexual assaults. A fifth defendant was given eight months in prison suspended.

Choi was the leader of the Korean rock band F.T. Island, who debuted in 2007 and went on to have three number-one albums in South Korea and hits with songs like Lovesick, Love Love Love and I Wish. He announced his retirement from the entertainment industry this year following the allegations against him.

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