Two K-pop stars have been sentenced to prison Friday by the Seoul Central District Court for raping women too drunk to consent in 2016, according to multiple reports. One was also convicted of recording the assaults and sharing them online.
Singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young, who recorded the assaults, was sentenced fo six years while former FT Island boy band member Choi Jong-hoon got five years. The court also sentenced each man to 80 hours in “sexual violence treatment” education, according to Reuters.
“The accused perpetrated sexual crimes against multiple women, degrading women and treating them as mere tools of sexual pleasure,” said Judge Kang Seong-soo saying in his verdict, according to The New York Times.
The Times notes the 30-year-old men have claimed the acts were consensual.
Judge Seong-soo went on, per the Times, “It’s hard to fathom the pain the victims must have suffered.”
Also according to the Times, though the police have not said who came forward with reports that Jung and others in an online group were bragging about drugging and raping women while sharing videos of such assaults, local news outlets in South Korea have reported it was a worker at a shop where Jung sent his phone to retrieve lost data.
K-pop has been making international headlines more and more lately as groups like BTS find mainstream success overseas. Along with the positive news, there have been increasing reports of stars’ deaths, often investigated as suicides. In the past few weeks, two female K-pop idols, Sulli and Goo Hara, have been suspected of killing themselves. Goo Hara took her former boyfriend, Choi Jong-bum, to court in 2018, accusing him of threatening to release a sex video of her. He was sentenced to 1 and a half years in prison on charges of coercion and assaulting and blackmailing her, though his jail term was suspended.