Two K-pop singers have today been jailed in South Korea after they were found guilty of gang-raping two women and one of them admitted secretly filming and distributing sex videos.
Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon, both 30, broke down in tears after they were found guilty of gang-raping two different victims on two occasions in 2016.
JungÂ was also convicted of filming himself having sex with other women without their knowledge and sharing the footage 11 times without their consent. He was jailed for six years and Choi for five.
Both were members of online chat groups that shared secret sex tapes and made jokes about drugging and raping women, the Seoul Central District Court said.
Sentencing the two men, judge Kang Seong-soo said they had regarded women as ‘objects of sexual pleasure’.
The two men ‘took part in gang-rape of victims who were intoxicated and unable to resist,’ the verdict said.
‘It is hard to fathom the extent of suffering the victims must have gone through.’
The case is the highest-profile example of an epidemic of spycam crimes in South Korea, which have prompted widespread anger and seen women demonstrating in Seoul, chanting: ‘My life is not your porn’.
‘The defendants are well-known celebrities and friends, but the chat they’ve had showed that they simply considered women as objects of sexual pleasure, and committed crimes that were extremely serious,’ the judge said.
‘Strict punishment is inevitable as the damage inflicted has not properly been recovered and the victims demand harsh penalties.’
The court also sentenced each man to 80 hours in ‘sexual violence treatment’ education. Both men broke down in tears when the sentences were announced.
The identities of the victims were suppressed to protect their identities.
Jung admitted distributing the videos, though he claimed that the sex was always consensual.
Choi, a former member of boy band FT Island, denied raping the woman, and had argued that he did not remember having sex with her and that if he had, it was likely consensual.
Lawyers for Jung and Choi could not be reached for comment.
Jung was arrested in March over the allegations that he had filmed his sexual encounters and shared them in group chats.
Their case was one of several scandals involving sex crimes and other illegal activity that revealed a dark side of an industry at the centre of the global K-pop craze.
Lee Seung-hyun, a former member of K-pop group Big Bang better known by the stage name Seungri, is also on trial over accusations he paid for prostitutes for foreign businessmen to drum up investment in his business.
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