K-Pop Stars Sentenced to Prison on Rape Charges

Two K-Pop stars, Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon, have been sentenced to prison on charges sexual assault. According to the Seoul Central District Court, both Jung and Choi were convicted conspiring in the sexual assaults women who were incapable resisting. Jung was also found guilty on charges filming and distributing sexual explicit material these women against their will on an online group chat. Jung was sentenced to six years in prison and Choi to five years.

In his verdict, Judge Kang Seong-soo said, “The accused perpetrated sexual crimes against multiple women, degrading women and treating them as mere tools sexual pleasure. It’s hard to fathom the pain the victims must have​ suffered.” Judge Kang noted that the victims were “drunk and unable to resist.” Both Jung and Choi will be required to complete a sexual violence treatment program 80 hours total.

The charges against Jung and Choi were first brought to light in March. The investigation, dubbed “The Burning Sun scandal,” by the press, initially centered around a different K-Pop idol, Seungri, the youngest member boy band Big Bang. Seungri has not yet been sentenced for the charges against him, which include assaulting unconscious women as well as filming and distributing videos the assaults. Seungri, Jung, and Choi were connected to the crimes after the discovery the group chat in which the videos were distributed.

The investigation has been dubbed “The Burning Sun scandal,” for the club Burning Sun in Seoul where the crimes took place. The activities that police claim took place in Burning Sun include prostitution, sexual assault, bribery, and drug trafficking. Both Seungri and Jung Joon-young retired from music as a result the investigation. Under whistle blower laws, police reportedly cannot reveal who first came forward with the allegations.