In a major case of too little, too late, Hara‘s ex Choi Jong Bum reversed course and pleaded guilty on all counts he’s been charged with except one.
Going back a bit, Choi Jong Bum was charged with filming without consent (molka, basically), assault, blackmail, coercion, and property damage. He was sentenced to just three years probation back in August of last year, but it was appealed by both sides. At the appeal trial, the molka charge was most heavily contested.
On the afternoon of May 21, the first appeal trial was held for Choi Jong Bum. The main focus at the appeal trial was whether or not there had been consent for the filming. At his first trial, he had been found not guilty of filming the victim’s body without consent. Choi Jong Bum’s lawyer stated that Choi Jong Bum accepts this ruling. “We ask for a not guilty ruling regarding the illegal filming, as was given in the first trial,” the lawyer stated. The prosecution replied, “It was unjust that he was given a not guilty ruling regarding illegal filming in the first trial.” They asked for him to be pronounced guilty on all charges. Goo Hara’s brother Goo Ho In appeared in court, as was his right as a family member of the deceased, and he called for severe punishment for Choi Jong Bum. He said, “My sister felt very upset and angry over the unfairness of the first trial.” He added, “Like the victims of the nth Room, this was a traumatic experience for my sister that she wasn’t able to get rid of. Please think about this carefully and give an appropriate sentence in the second trial.”
The fact that Hara is now gone shouldn’t technically impact this trial, but it’s almost impossible to ignore, so her brother being there hopefully moves the needle. Still, I think the wider point being made is the most important, that whether the consequences are as dire as they were in this case or not, that his punishment was comically lenient for his crimes.
Fortunately, he does save everybody time and cops to the other charges.
Before the appeal trial, Choi Jong Bum had denied all the charges except the one regarding property damage, however at the trial he changed his position and apologized. He pleaded guilty to all charges except the one regarding nonconsensual filming. “I’ve felt a lot of things and reflected a lot over the past two years,” he said. “As I wrote in my statement, regardless of the reason, I apologize to everyone related to this.” Goo Ho In responded to this by saying, “My sister was very angry when she saw him do things like confidently hold a grand opening party with his acquaintances after he said he’d been reflecting. From the perspective of a family member, it would be difficult to call this ‘reflecting.’”
I’m glad her brother isn’t going to let him off the hook now for admitting to everything after the fact, and I hope he continues to drive his points against him home.
Surely Choi Jong Bum is only doing this now to get a lenient sentence as he probably sees the writing on the wall a bit, but hopefully he eventually sees some kind of punishment for what he’s now admitted to doing. Seriously, look at the list of charges he’s guilty of and I can’t think of a scenario where just probation is appropriate.