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Court hands singers Jung, Choi prison time for rape

Nov 30,2019
The Seoul Central District Court Friday sentenced singers Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon, a former member of the celebrated rock band FT Island, to six and five years in prison, respectively, for raping drunk unconscious women.

The pair was indicted for raping drunk unconscious women in Hongcheon County, Gangwon, in January 2016 and again in Daegu in March that year.

Jung was additionally indicted on charges of secretly filming himself having sex with women and sharing the footage with friends in mobile chats.

The case came to light when police were investigating Seungri, the K-pop megastar of boyband Big Bang, and found a KakaoTalk chat room in which Jung had shared with Seungri and other celebrities messages about and videos of the sexual encounters.

“The two have asserted that they had sex with the women after obtaining their consent, but the women were in a state where they were unable to protest or resist,” the court said in its statement Friday. “Jung has testified that Choi also had sex with the women and Jung provided evidence including the KakaoTalk messages. Based on this, the court has ruled that Jung and Choi have together raped women who could not resist because they were too drunk.”

The pair was also ordered to undergo 80 hours of sex offender treatment and was barred from employment at children and youth facilities for five years.

The court said that the act of secretly filming and distributing explicit videos of women with others was “serious and grave.”

“The defendants, with their acquaintances in celebrity circles, have also sexually assaulted and raped women, took videos in the process and shared them on their KakaoTalk group chat room,” the court said in its statement.

“The defendants may be young in age, but the crime committed is too serious and grave. The court cannot see these actions as a mere joke. The victims have also requested severe punishment for the defendants.”

Also sentenced on Friday was the older brother of K-pop group Girls’ Generation’s Kwon Yu-ri for taking part in the sexual assaults with Jung and Choi. He received a four-year prison sentence while another defendant, indicted for the same charges, was sentenced to five years.

A fifth defendant was given a suspended sentence of an eight-month imprisonment.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]