Korea’s Supreme Court affirms jail terms of K-pop stars Jung Joon-young, Choi Jong-hoon

Published September 24, 2020, 4:44 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

South Korea’s Supreme Court has upheld the jail terms of disgraced K-pop stars Jung Joon-young, 31, and Choi Jong-hoon, 30, former leader of band FT Island, for raping women and other crimes.

In a ruling handed down on Sept. 24, the 2nd Division of the Supreme Court headed by Presiding Judge Park Sang-ok affirmed Jung Joon-young’s prison term of five years and Choi Jong-hoon’s two-and-a-half years.

On Nov. 29, 2019, the Seoul Central District Court originally sentenced Jung Joon-young to six years in prison and Choi Jong-hoon to five years.

The two, together with others, were found guilty of intoxicating women and raping them in two incidents in Hongcheon, Gangwon Province in January 2016 and Daegu in March 2016.

In addition, the court also convicted Jung Joon Young for distributing illegally filmed videos of his sexual acts with women 11 times on KakaoTalk chat rooms in 2015.

The two appealed their sentences last December and on May 12 this year, the Seoul High Court reduced Jung Joon-young’s sentence from six to five years, and Choi Jong-hoon from five to two and a half years.

Disgraced Korean stars Jung Joon-young in Manila (left) and Choi Jong-hoon (Photos: Jonathan Hicap, Instagram)

In the ruling, the Supreme Court also upheld the decision mandating Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon to participate for 80 hours in a program for the treatment of sexual violence. Jung Joon-young is also prohibited for five years and Choi Jong-hoon for three years from being employed in institutions related to children and youth, and welfare facilities for the disabled.

Before the controversy, Jung Joon-young was a regular cast member of the Korean variety show “2 Days & 1 Night” and even held a fan meeting in Manila in September 2018.

His case was an offshoot of the controversy involving the Burning Sun club in Gangnam, Seoul that started when a man complained in January 2019 that he was assaulted outside the venue.

This snowballed into a full-blown investigation of the club’s activities and management including former Big Bang member Seungri who served as board member. Seungri retired from the entertainment industry because of the controversy.

In March last year, Korean media outlet SBS News reported that Jung Joon-young uploaded sex videos to chat rooms. He returned to South Korea from the US on March 12, 2019 and issued an apology. He was dropped from 2 Days & 1 Night” and his contract was terminated by MAKEUS Entertainment.

In the same month, Choi Jong-hoon left FT Island and retired from the entertainment industry. He debuted in FT Island in 2007.