Send to

Disgraced ex-K-pop star released after serving time for sex crimes

March 19, 2024 - 12:20 By Yoon Min-sik
(Herald DB)

Former South Korean singer Jung Joon-young was released from Mokpo Prison in South Jeolla Province on Tuesday morning after serving five years in prison for a string of sex crimes that included the group rape of an intoxicated woman and the distribution of illicitly filmed videos of sexual acts.

The 35-year-old exited the prison at around 5:05 a.m., wearing a mask and a hat. He did not address the reporters stationed outside the prison.

Jung, who rose to fame after appearing in the 2012 audition program "Superstar K4" on Mnet, was embroiled in a scandal in 2019 when it was found that he had filmed and shared sex videos without the consent of the women in them. It was found that several K-pop stars -- including Seungri who was convicted of charges including soliciting of prostitution, gambling and embezzlement -- were in the chat room where the videos were shared.

The revelation was made during the so-called "Burning Sun Scandal," when an allegation of an assault at a high-profile nightclub in Gangnam exposed a series of corruption allegations involving drugs, prostitution, and sexual violence involving K-pop bigwigs.

During the investigation, it was found that Jung and four of his acquaintances had raped an intoxicated female member of Jung's fan club in 2016. Article 299 of the Criminal Act defines forced sexual intercourse with a person who is stripped of one's cognitive abilities as "quasi-rape," which can be punished by up to three years in prison, while such acts committed by two or more people can be punished by to up to seven years in prison.

Jung was sentenced to six years in prison in 2019. His sentence was later reduced to five years by an appellate court and confirmed by the Supreme Court the following year. Jung is also required to complete 80 hours in a sexual violence treatment program and is banned from working at facilities related to minors or disabled people for five years after his release.

Jung vowed to retire from the entertainment scene after the allegations were made.