It’s been revealed on February 28 that the Seoul Gangnam Police gave Mr. Kim a warrant for arrest due to his prior stated crimes involving about 30 female trainees.
Mr. Kim recruited singer trainees whose ages were between 15 and 25 via Internet advertisement from January 2010 to September 2012. He would tell them that “they need to lose weight for improved abdominal breathing” and used that as an excuse to touch them in various places.
He collected roughly $3,000 to $10,000 from each trainee as a security deposit and the total estimates to about $220,000. Mr. Kim is under suspicion for demanding the security deposit by convincing the trainees that he will return the money later on and even injured them with wooden swords.
The police reported that the current CEO had experience managing a singer 5 years ago at “S” Entertainment and also acted as the face of “D” Entertainment for a year. Even though the trainees had no talent and a slim chance to debut, he passed them at auditions and promised them he will “have them debut within six months.”
Guessing his crimes will be revealed one day, he previously changed his name and moved his office several times between various cities like Youngdeungpo, Gangnam, Mapo and Bucheon.
“Many similar cases are occurring recently,” stated a police officer. “We’re planning to set a large crackdown in the district region of Gangnam, which is the home of many entertainment agencies.”
He would also routinely ask his female trainees like Park (16) that he needed to check whether they had stomach fat or not and sexually harass them whenever he wanted to.
Last January, Seo (19) had asked for a refund on her security deposit, causing him to lash out at her by striking her with a wooden stick along with verbal profanity, leading her to be hospitalized for three weeks.
A in actuality had no power to debut any of his trainees as singers and never had any intentions of returning their deposits.
Sad to say, but in the rash of rape/sexual assault cases recently, the more significant news here is the police statement, where it’s admitted that there’s a trend and that a crackdown is necessary.
Of course these things are horrible, but it’s clear that it has become systematic now and that it’s not just individual shitty companies.
Why has this happened all of a sudden? Well, I’d argue it’s always been around in some fashion, but the growth of the industry has led to prime opportunities for criminals. As with any entertainment industry, the balance of power is skewed greatly. The supply of wannabees is overwhelming, but the demand for their talents is limited. That inequality inevitably creates desperation, and, especially considering their ages, situations where they’re ripe to be manipulated and taken advantage of.
Basically, a lot of these random upstarts aren’t really music companies anymore, they’re crime rings with the front of being entertainment agencies.
It will be interesting to see what police ACTUALLY do about it versus what they SAY they’ll do, because the writing has been on the wall regarding this type of activity for a while now, especially regarding minors, but not much has been changed thus far.