On Friday, November 29, K-pop stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon were sentenced to prison in South Korea for raping unconscious women as part of the “Burning Sun” scandal. According to Variety, Jung was sentenced to six years in prison for drugging and raping an unconscious woman along with filming and distributing a video of the act. Choi was sentenced to five years in prison.
The pair claimed the sex was consensual during their trial, but according to the Yonhap news agency, the judge didn’t accept the argument.
“Jung and Choi took part in gang rape of victims who were intoxicated and unable to resist. It is hard to fathom the extent of suffering the victims must have gone through,” the Seoul Central District Court judge had said.
The 30-year-olds were also sentenced to complete 80 hours of sex offender treatment and they are banned from employment at children and youth facilities for five years.
As fans of the K-pop world know, the “Burning Sun” scandal first rocked South Korea in January 2019 when group chat messages surfaced which allegedly showed some of the country’s biggest stars taking part in bribery, violence against customers, procuring sex workers and escorts for VIPs, rape, drug trafficking and drug use while attending the Burning Sun nightclub. The Gangnam hotspot was partly owned and managed by Seungri of the K-pop group, Big Bang.
In February 2019, video footage from 2015 and 2016 was recovered from a KakaoTalk chatroom allegedly created by Seungri, which led to the initial investigation of Jung and Choi. Despite their pleas in court that the sex had been consensual, in March 2019, Jung retired from the K-pop industry after admitting to part of the allegations against him. He revealed that he filmed himself having sex with ten women without their consent.
“I admit to all my crimes. I filmed women without their consent and shared on social media,” he said in a public apology letter.
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