Divorce can be a difficult process, especially when involving a high profile case. However, in the case between actor Ryu Shi Won and his wife, Ms. Jo, when assault charges are included, the severity of the legal battle escalates.
On November 29, Seoul’s court of appeal acknowledged the claims of assault and threat by Ryu Shi Won. However, taking in to consideration that it was Ryu Shi Won’s first offense, and that the degree of harm was not substantial, the appeals court dismissed the appeals of both the defendant and the prosecutor. Thus, the dismissal of the appeals ruled that the original ruling would stand, with Ryu Shi Won to pay a fine of 7 million won (~6,614 USD). The verdict of the appeal courts in the final trial between Ryu Shi Won and his ex-wife, Ms. Jo, finally ended, outlining an end to a 20 month court battle.
The panel judges had acknowledged that Ryu Shi Won had indeed attacked his wife. However, in regards to the ruling, the panel of judges stated, “Although there is a lack of evidence in the claims of Ms. Jo, the audio recording released by Ms. Jo reveals her voice sounding intimidated. In the part which Ryu Shi Won is strongly questioning Ms. Jo, it is apparent that the part which her voice sounds intimidated, the sound of skin hitting skin, and then the shouting of ‘Do I seem funny to you?’ can assume that Ms. Jo was assaulted. It can also be assumed that it was difficult for the victim to act in resistance against the defendant late at night in a house with only their eight months old child and the defendant.”
Furthermore, the panel of judges condemned Ryu Shi Won’s actions. The judges commented, “Ryu Shi Won is simply pleading for his unfair feelings, rather than tending to the victim’s recovery. Although he is saying that the conversation captured on the audio recording is possible between married couples, Ryu Shi Won’s words gave a greater hurt to Ms. Jo’s mind, than would an average attack. Also, we cannot justify the GPS tracking of Ms. Jo by Ryu Shi Won. There cannot be a settlement when one’s mistakes are simply brushed away. To try and resolve the problems between married couples in a court is not the best way for resolution.”
To the actor, the judges expressed, “The defendant, as a husband, and a child’s father, think about how faithful and hard you have worked for your family. You must have a time of self-reflection.”
Back in the November 8 appeals trial, the prosecutors had demanded an eight months prison sentence for the actor. As the actor had originally been sentenced to pay 7million won (~6,614 USD), the prosecution team had expressed that the sentence was too light. The prosecution team said, “The assault and threat is not as important as the fact that the illegal tracking through GPS was used, which is not a light offense,” explaining the reason for demanding an eight months prison term.
However, the actor’s lawyers refuted the claims by stating, “He is very remorseful of his actions. However, the GPS tracking of Ms. Jo was not to gather harmful information, but because of his worry for his child’s safety as his wife could not be contacted, causing Ryu to install a tracking device.”
Back in September 10, the first trial concluded with Ryu Shi Won being found guilty for assault and threat, and charged to pay 7 million won. In a statement, the actor had said he would fight for his innocence, and filed for an appeal on the same day. Ryu Shi Won and his wife had married back in 2010 after one year of dating. However, the couple filed for divorce in April 2012 after one year and eight months of marriage. Unable to find a settlement in their divorce, the actor and his soon to be ex-wife are still in the midst of their divorce lawsuit.