Like clockwork, I write my only post of the year where I state I wanted to take a few days off and major news breaks on one of the main reasons I’ve been so behind this year.
But at least it’s an update that’s somewhat worth it as Jung Joon Young, Choi Jong Hoon, and three others have been sentenced for their roles in the molka group chats that extended to crimes such as gang rape with Jung Joon Young getting six years and Choi Jong Hoon getting five years.
On November 29, judge Kang Sung Soo of the Seoul Central District Court delivered the verdict against five individuals including Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon. The courts have sentenced Jung Joon Young to six years in prison and Choi Jong Hoon to five years in prison, finding them guilty of sexually assaulting an individual who was incapable of resisting. They will also have to undergo 80 hours in a sexual violence rehabilitation program and will face restrictions of employment for five years in any organization related to children and teenagers. The prosecution request to put the five defendants under protective supervision was denied. Five individuals including Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon were charged with aggravated rape in Gangwon Province in January 2016 and in Daegu in March 2016. They also faced charges of filming and spreading footage that was illegally taken during that time. The prosecution had initially asked for seven years in prison for Jung Joon Young and five years for Choi Jong Hoon, as well as participation in a rehabilitation program for offenders and a ten-year restriction of employment in any organization related to children and teenagers.
Kwon Hyuk Soo was also found guilty of participating in the sexual assault and illegal chatroom activities and was sentenced to 4 years in prison. Two other defendants were sentenced to 5 years in prison and 2 years probation.
According to the AP, the charge was “special quasi-raping”, which is essentially gang rape.
The presiding judge seemed to understand how serious the charges were.
Jung Joon Young and Choi Jonghoon were popular singers, so they held a sense of responsibility to society for their influence and fame. But they and their group of celebrity and non-celebrity friends committed sexual offenses against several women, including gang rape, semi-rape, sexual assault, taking illegal sex cams and sharing it in the chat room. They viewed women as simple tools for sexual pleasure. The victims’ trauma is untreatable, and they demand a severe punishment for the defendants’ crimes.
In the end though, it seems awful light for multiple counts of sexual crimes, including gang rape. That said, given how the system is, it’s almost reassuring that they did get years of jail and didn’t get like months with probation due to consideration for their future or whatever usual rulings are made in cases like this (Iron, anybody?).
Most of this is now over, though given everything that came out, it’s hard to feel like justice was served completely.