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NU’EST’s Baekho accused of molesting a girl 8 years ago, Pledis responds (sorta)

NU’EST member Baekho, who rose to prominence recently thanks to ‘Produce 101‘, has been accused of molesting a girl on a bus eight years ago. The accusation was posted on an online community site recently, saying that it occurred on a 30-minute bus ride back home from the cram school they both attended. The alleged incident took place when Baekho was 13, a year older than the alleged victim.

The user gave a detailed description of the incident, on the basis that other users may question her if she did not provide further details. At first, she accused Baekho of sitting next to her and holding her hand, saying, “Ah, it’s cold.” She stated that she’d thought it was weird, but they were close, so she brushed it off and responded, “I’m cold, too!” She then accused him of putting his bag on her thighs, then touching her thighs, her chest over her school uniform, between the legs, etc. When it was time for her to get off the cram school bus, he supposedly smiled at her while she got off, waving goodbye.

So Baekho is being accused of touching the alleged victim’s thighs, breasts, and vagina (over her underwear), though the only proof being offered so far is the alleged victim and her friends offering to upload school albums to prove they went to the same school as Baekho.

As far as not coming forward sooner, the alleged victim says it was because she didn’t see him around much.

The victim further revealed that because NU’EST had not been popular in Korea and active mostly in Japan, she hadn’t seen Baekho’s face everywhere and didn’t have to deal with the trauma. However, as his popularity grew, she kept seeing him and had to be reminded of her trauma, which was why she decided to speak up.

The alleged victim also said that she tried to contact both Baekho and Pledis Entertainment about this but didn’t get an answer.

OP: Oppa, this is (name blanked out)
OP: Can you talk right now?
Kang Dongho: O.T. (*typo of OK, i think?)
Kang Dongho: ㅋㅋㅋㅋ
Kang Dongho: What’s up?
OP: Oppa, do you remember 8 years ago? When you sexually assaulted me?
Kang Dongho: What?
OP: Do you remember sexually assaulting me?
(Dongho tries to call OP)
(Dongho cancels call)
OP: I can’t go on call with you right now
OP: Talk through Kakao Talk
OP: Anyway oppa, you remember right?
OP: 8 years ago in the (hakwon name) hakwon car
Kang Dongho: What?
Kang Dongho: Call me later when you can go on call
OP: No
OP: I don’t want to go on call with you
OP: Stop trying to gloss over it like that and
OP: Respond
OP: I’m doing this because I want to get over this well and I want to give you a chance, too
OP: So why won’t you acknowledge it?
OP: Don’t you know that I get angrier the more you act like this?
OP: I didn’t message you to ruin your life
OP: So please respond properly
OP: You remember 8 years ago, right?
OP: I’ve really had a hard time because of that event. Back then I was young so I was scared and your family and my family knows each other and you’re friends with my brother so it was disgusting and I hated it but I endured it and pretended to be fine. And you’d come to our house and say hello – do you know how anxious and uncomfortable I was then? You don’t think I was okay back then, do you? Anyway it got a little better when you became a trainee and left for the mainland (*TN: as in, left Jeju). But even so it absolutely didn’t mean I was fine and they said maybe 1 year later you’d debuted as Nu’est and suddenly I thought, what if this oppa keeps appearing on TV, how am I going to live with these memories? That was the only thing I could think of. But oppa after you debuted with Nu’est you weren’t popular in Korea and only worked overseas so I was okay? But then you came on Produce out of the blue, do you know how I felt then? I still remember the feeling of you touching my body 8 years ago vividly even now when I hear your name I think of that and it’s really seriously painful. But I stayed quiet because when I thought it would be messing up one person’s life, I couldn’t easily take action. But anyway now that that program is over I’m telling you, I’d like you to never appear on television again. Really it’s awful for me to see your face and hear your voice and see your name, it’s so hard I feel like I could die
OP: Why aren’t you replying? Is it so hard to apologize? (*sent 11:29, last message sent 10:58)
OP: It might have been nothing for you these past 8 years but not for me
OP: Why are you being so shameless?

she says she made the call after he stopped reading or responding to her messages (shown above) on june 19th. the video of the call (~4 minutes long) is in the pann post. when he picks up she says, “oppa, it’s me, (name)” and basically the phone call is the her telling the guy that they need to talk now and the guy saying he’s busy and will call them back later, and near the end the caller says, roughly, smth along the lines of “you can’t do this to me, you know you’re talking to the person you sexually assaulted 8 years ago right?” the guy hangs up, saying he’ll call back five minutes later. OP says she waited 50 minutes but didn’t receive a call back, so sent a message saying, “It’s been nearly 1 hour. Didn’t you say you’d call back five minutes later?”

The victim also revealed she’d tried emailing Pledis Entertainment, asking for some sort of statement as well as Baekho possibly stepping down from ‘Produce 101’ if the accusations were true, but she received no answer.

After she didn’t get an answer from anybody she went with a friend to a police and went to get counselling.

According to the user, she and a friend decided to report the incident to the police, and upon a phone conversation with a police officer, they were recommended a visit to a rehabilitation center within a nearby hospital. The victim and her friend claimed that they would be continuing their visits to a specialist at the rehabilitation center, as well as that they have scheduled a meeting with a lawyer. They will allegedly update the results of their appointment and discussion with the lawyer next week.

In response to the allegations, Pledis sort of addressed this by issuing a blanket statement about false rumors.

“Hello. This is Pledis Entertainment. We are currently taking legal measures against false rumors, the spreading of malicious slander meant to attack one’s character, malicious comments, online posts, and the copying and spreading of the following, regarding our label’s artists. In addition to the content mentioned above, we will be taking legal actions against any and all illegal content, strictly and withholding nothing. We will release additional information about additional occurrences from here on. Thank you.”

So yeah, this is a mess.

I understand the skepticism based on the timing of it all, but given the cordial nature between the two (their mom’s are supposedly close), I’m also skeptical of those dismissing this outright.

Either way, based on what has been revealed thus far, I think it’s basically impossible and irresponsible to get rooted into any kind of conclusion about what happened and we should probably wait to see how it all plays out. Based on the circumstances, however, I have doubts it goes much further. We’ll see.

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