K-pop stars’ gang rape, spycam jail terms cut

Singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young is a former member of boyband FT Island. (AFP pic)

SEOUL: Two former K-pop stars had their prison sentences for gang-rape and spycam crimes significantly reduced on Tuesday, after a scandal that rocked South Korea last year.

Singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon, a former member of boyband FT Island, were found guilty in November of gang-raping two different victims on two occasions in 2016.

The 31-year-old Jung was additionally convicted of secretly filming himself having sex with other women and sharing the footage without their consent.

But the Seoul High Court on Tuesday cut Jung’s sentence from six years to five and halved Choi’s five-year term to 2.5 years.

Jung had submitted documents showing his sincere regret, Yonhap news agency cited the verdict as saying.

Choi, 30, had reached an agreement with one of the victims which was “partly reflected” in its decision on him, it added without giving details.

The case was the highest-profile example of an epidemic of spycam crimes in South Korea, which have prompted widespread anger.

Known as “molka”, South Korean spycam videos are largely made by men secretly filming women in schools, toilets and elsewhere, although the term can also be applied to clandestinely-shot footage of consensual sex.

In the conservative South, female victims of such videos often feel deep shame and face the threat of ostracism and social isolation.

Around 5,500 people were arrested for molka offences last year, 97% of them men, according to police data.