Ban Min Jung Reveals She Was The Actress Sexually Assaulted By Jo Deok Jae + Shares Hopes For Future Of Industry
Ban Min Jung has come forward to reveal that she was the actress who was sexually assaulted by Jo Deok Jae.
In October 2017, Jo Deok Jae was charged with sexually assaulting an actress while filming a movie in April 2015. At the time, the actress’s identity remained anonymous to the public.
On September 13, Ban Min Jung unveiled her identity for the first time in 40 months in front of the main entrance of the Supreme Court.
On this day, the Supreme Court dismissed Jo Deok Jae’s appeal and confirmed his original verdict of a year of imprisonment with a two-year probation and 40 hours of a treatment program for sexual offenders. This day also marked the end of the long legal battle between Ban Min Jung and Jo Deok Jae that began in May 2015.
She began, “I’m Ban Min Jung, who was called the actress and victim in Jo Deok Jae’s sexual assault case. I was sexually assaulted by my co-star Jo Deok Jae in April 2015 while filming a movie. After reporting it to the police that May, I fought for 40 months until now.”
She continued, “Although I was afraid to talk about the sexual violence, the additional wrongdoings of Jo Deok Jae and his acquaintances were serious. After reporting it to the police, I lost so much during the 40 months that followed. Even though I was a victim of sexual assault, it was difficult for me to continue acting due to the reason that I was involved in malicious gossip. Lectures stopped and people left me. I lost my health, will to live, and everything.”
She said, “They say that if you are sexually assaulted, you should follow the law, so that’s what I did. But I lost everything and I’m having a painful time to the point where I think that death might be better. When Jo Deok Jae was found guilty at the second trial, he revealed his identity to the media, twisted the truth about the sexual assault incident, and continued to spread malicious and false information about me with his acquaintances such as Lee Jae Po. Everything that he has said about me in the media, online, and on social media is a lie and completely false.”
About revealing her identity, she explained, “I wanted to be in solidarity with sexual assault victims. I hope there won’t be any more victims of a witch hunt like me. I hope that someone else will feel hope from the 40 months that I endured only because I was determined to reveal the truth.”
She concluded, “More than anything, I stood before all of you with the hope that this verdict will bring meaningful change to the film industry. ‘Acting’ and ‘sexual assault under the pretext of acting’ are different. Violence should not become common practice and wrong practices should disappear. I hope that the verdict of my case will become a catalyst that removes sexual assault from the movie industry, instead of it being covered up as ‘common practice’ as it has been. What Jo Deok Jae did was sexual assault and not acting.”
In April 2015, Jo Deok Jae was charged with sexually assaulting Ban Min Jung while filming a movie. He put his hands down her pants, tore her undergarments, and touched her body parts without consent.
He was found innocent in the first trial in December 2016, but was found guilty in the second trial in October 2017 where he was sentenced to a year of imprisonment with a two-year probation and 40 hours of a treatment program for sexual offenders. On September 13, the Supreme Court dismissed his appeal and confirmed the sentencing from the second trial.