Back in June, Baekho of NU’EST was accused of molesting a girl on a bus ride back home from cram school eight years ago in 2009. Netizens then pointed out inconsistencies in the accusation and Pledis Entertainment issued a denial, which led to the alleged victim clarifying her accusation. Then the last we heard of it was Pledis announcing they would be filing a criminal and not civil lawsuit against the alleged victim for defamation.
Recently, however, reports from multiple outlets that cite the prosecutor’s office have said that an anonymous idol has been booked for the sexual molestation back in 2009. The idol involved isn’t revealed in the reports, but everybody knows it’s Baekho due to the accusation being identical to the description of Baekho’s mess in June.
According to reports by FN News, SBS funE, MK News, Insight, and more on October 12, the District Public Prosecutor’s Office of Jeju revealed an idol with the last name Kang was booked on the charge of sexual molestation in 2009. At the time, the reported victim was 13-year-old girl A, who was a friend that lived in the same neighborhood as then middle-schooler Kang. The incident is reported to have taken place after they finished attending classes at an after-school study academy, which provided transportation for the students to return home. During the car ride, Kang is said to have sexually molested A, which he later denied during police investigations.
It was also revealed that Baekho apologized formally to the alleged victim and she decided not to go through with charges.
Despite denying the allegations, Kang formally apologized to A, and as they were acquainted for a long time, she and her family decided not to press charges. However, A is said to have been traumatized by the incident as she was found to have attended therapy at a youth counseling center for at least 3 months.
Perhaps most relevantly, the molestation accusation is being investigated again.
The sexual molestation accusation is now being investigated once again.
Pledis, meanwhile, has maintained their position of Baekho’s innocence.
“The related accusations are not true. We’re currently awaiting an investigation. Our side is also starting a lawsuit, and we plan to comply sincerely as needed.”
So if the reports are true, then the new things here that weren’t mentioned months ago is the confirmation that this was handled by the authorities back in 2009, that Baekho issued a formal apology to the alleged victim to avoid charges despite maintaining his innocence, and that Baekho was arrested/booked for the accusation recently. Also, authorities will be investigating this case again due to its re-emergence in June.
None of that is good news for Baekho, NU’EST, or Pledis, and it should be interesting to see if anything further comes of this now. As always with cases where the dust has yet to settle, it’s best to wait for more information, especially since details seem sure to emerge.