With the impending release of convicted rapist Jung Joon Young on March 20th, four years after his 2019 imprisonment for group sexual assaults, his former close acquaintances have sequentially resumed their activities. Jung Joon Young was arrested in March 2019 for two instances of group sexual assault of intoxicated women in January 2016 in Hongcheon and in March 2016 in Daegu. He also faced accusations of illegally recording and sharing videos of his sexual encounters with women in both group and private chat rooms.
Choi Jong Hoon, Co-Defendant in Group Sexual Assault
Former FTISLAND member Choi Jong Hoon recently opened a personal channel on the paid fan communication platform FANICON, stating, “I’m greeting everyone for the first time in five years. How have you been? Your messages have given me strength. Thank you. I look forward to communicating with you through this channel and will work hard to build a bright future.”
However, public opinion remains cold as Choi Jong Hoon, like Jung Joon Young, was convicted of group sexual assault charges. Initially sentenced to five years in prison in November 2019, his term was reduced to two and a half years on appeal. After serving his sentence, he was released in November 2021. Post-release, Choi Jong Hoon appeared to focus on his religious life with his mother but has now laid the groundwork for a return to the entertainment industry, causing dismay among many K-pop fans.
Seungri, Guilty on Nine Counts in Burning Sun Scandal
Former BIGBANG member Seungri, once close to Jung Joon Young, is currently enjoying events and nightlife in Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Singapore, and Cambodia. Seungri withdrew from BIGBANG and announced his retirement from entertainment in March 2019 amid unfolding allegations surrounding club Burning Sun, where he served as a director.
In January 2020, he was indicted on eight charges, including prostitution and brokering prostitution. After enlisting in March 2020, he received a military trial and was additionally charged with instigating special assault. In August 2021, he was sentenced to one and a half years in prison when he was found guilty of all nine charges, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in May 2022. He was transferred to a wartime labor unit and released in February last year.
In July 2021, during his 25th trial, Seungri drew a line from Jung Joon Young and his group chat friends, stating that he was just a member of a different group chat that included Jung Joon Young.
Yong Jun Hyung, Consumer of Jung Joon Young’s Illicit Videos
Singer Yong Jun Hyung, another of Jung Joon Young’s former friends, resumed his activities in November 2022 with the solo album LONER, three years after the scandal. Initially denying receiving illicit videos from Jung Joon Young and threatening legal action, Yong Jun Hyung later reversed his stance and apologized in just three days, leading to his departure from the group Highlight in March 2019.
In a press conference for his album release in November 2022, he claimed he was not a member of any group chatroom but acknowledged that “there were wrongdoings in my past conversations.” He expressed remorse for not correcting them and promised to only greet with good news in the future.
He recently went public with his relationship with HyunA, sparking another debate.
Eddy Kim, Distributor of Obscene Material
Eddy Kim is making a comeback after five years with the new song “It’ll Get Better” on the 23rd. In March 2019, he was investigated by the police for distributing obscene materials and later referred to the prosecution. The prosecution considered that Eddy Kim’s distribution of obscene materials was a one-time offense and he showed deep remorse, leading to a non-prosecution decision.
Eddy Kim did not film or distribute illegal videos but was investigated for sharing a screengrab of an image online. His agency Mystic Story clarified in March 2020 that the chatroom Eddy Kim was involved in was separate from the problematic chatroom where Jung Joon Young shared illegal recordings. The agency conveyed the singer’s remorse, stating, “Regardless of the content, Eddy Kim acknowledges that such behavior was reckless and is deeply remorseful. He sincerely apologizes to those who were disappointed by his actions. Going forward, Eddy Kim will act with a heavy sense of responsibility and be more cautious in every aspect.”