A couple days ago, it was revealed that Onew of SHINee was charged with sexual harassment over inappropriate touching on a woman at a club. However, SM Entertainment and a witness report from Dispatch stated that while he did touch the woman it was just an accident and the charges were dropped. That was potentially the end of the saga that would’ve left us with a few questions.
Recently, however, the police have forwarded the case to the prosecution, saying that Onew is being charged for touching a part of the woman’s body three times as he was sitting in a chair next to the platform she was dancing on.
According to the police, Onew is receiving a charge for touching a specific part of a woman’s body three times while intoxicated at a club in Gangnam on August 12 at around 7:10 a.m. KST. At the time of the incident, the woman (hereafter referred to as A) was dancing on a platform 30 centimeters (approximately 11.8 inches) from the ground, while Onew was sitting on a chair next to the platform. After receiving the report from A’s acquaintance, the police arrested Onew and investigated him for five hours before releasing him. He said during the investigation that he does not remember as he was intoxicated. According to one witness, he seemed too intoxicated to stand properly and appeared to be grabbing her leg as support. The site of the incident is a zone that is not captured by the CCTV (video surveillance). However, the police judged that the main witness account has credibility due to accurate descriptions of the surrounding movements which were captured on CCTV.
Most importantly, in the last article I mentioned I wanted to hear from the woman instead of company explanations and one witness with unknown motivations. Well, she did speak up and in her statement to police she said that despite dropping charges due to an agreement with SME, she maintains she was sexually harassed.
A police source commented, “The victim has received additional damage as her personal information has been revealed because of press coverage. She signed the form to drop charges due to SM’s request, but she testified that there is no change in the fact that the sexual harassment occurred.”
Given that there’s no dispute from either the company statement or the witness (much less the victim), and that Onew himself admits he has no idea what happened, there doesn’t appear to be any other reasonable conclusion to make than he touched her inappropriately multiple times. Drunk or not, that would still only excuse his intent, not his responsibility, and it certainly doesn’t make what he did feel any better to the victim. Surprising or not, it’s reality.
As far as court proceedings go, given that it doesn’t seem like she’ll cooperate after agreeing with SME, I doubt that goes anywhere. Assuming the police have it right, the only thing left that I want to know is the extent of his actions, like whether he really just touched her leg a bunch or if it was worse than that.