Back in April of this year, it was revealed that a former member of a boy group had been charged with sexually assaulting (and raping) a fellow member while in the group over a span of about four years.
The former group member was referred to trial in January. He is accused of sexually assaulting the victim at least three times from 2017 to 2021 in their dorms and practice room. The charges against the suspect include “imitative rape,” which under Korean law is defined as inserting genitals, a body part or instrument into “another’s bodily part (excluding a genital organ).” The offense is punishable by imprisonment of at least two years.
The defendant admitted to most of the charges and used being drunk as an excuse.
The defendant is reported to have admitted to most of the charges while claiming he does not recall some of the charges because he was inebriated at the time.
Prosecutors asked for three years in prison, his identity to be publicly disclosed, for the perpetrator to complete a sexual assault treatment program, and to be restricted in employment for a term of five years.
In May, he was sentenced to three years probation (with two years and six months of prison if violated) and 30 hours of sexual assault treatment program. After appeal, yesterday he was sentenced to the same fate except 80 hours of sexual assault treatment program.
If the sentencing decision wasn’t bad enough, the court agreed that the victim experienced sexual and mental pain, but said the sentence was because the former idol was remorseful and reflected, and they agreed to some kind of deal with the victim.
During the first trial, the court agreed that although the victim felt sexual and mental pain, “A” showed remorse and reflected on his actions, agreeing with the victim.
Later on, he admitted to the charges of forced harassment, but denied the charges of rape, claiming that “he does not remember as he was drunk.”
The forced molestation occurred several times between 2017 to 2021, occurring in the group’s accommodations and practice rooms. “A” later left the group.
So basically he gets probation for continued sexual assault of a fellow member over a span of four years (one he likely had power over as well), and most likely rape. Not sure what to say except I feel terrible for the victim, and it’s sickening that he may end up having to watch him continue his career like nothing happened. I realize that the victim agreed to some kind of deal, but even in that case it was likely due to how rape laws are structured (must actively resist), and it’s clearly not justice being done here.
When this story broke months ago, one major concern was that revealing the perpetrator would likely out the victim against his will*. That still holds up as a worry, but now it feels even worse because social punishment in terms of the assaulter being shamed for his actions is probably the only way to get some form of justice because the court system failed.
*Unfortunately, it does seem like Korean portals have already figured out the perpetrator, and I hope they just leave it at that and he silently loses any entertainment career.