Choi Jong Bum Attends Second Trial, Goo Hara Not Present Due To Health + Her Lawyer Requests Date For Next Trial
On May 30, a second trial was held for Choi Jong Bum at the Seoul Central District Court. He had been charged for violation of the Act on Special Cases Concerning the Punishment of Sexual Crimes (filming body parts without consent), assault causing bodily harm, intimidation (blackmail), coercion, and destruction and damage of property.
Previously, Choi Jong Bum and Goo Hara were involved in a physical altercation, where he bruised her arms and legs. It was also revealed that he had taken photos of her back and legs without her knowing and had forced Goo Hara to make her agency CEO kneel in front of him. He was indicted without detention.
Choi Jong Bum attended the trial with his legal representative and did not respond to reporters’ questions. Although Goo Hara did not show up in court, her lawyer was present. Neither Goo Hara’s roommate nor Goo Hara’s agency CEO, who were chosen as witnesses by the prosecution, appeared.
At the trial, Goo Hara’s lawyer stated, “(Goo Hara) is not in a position to appear at the trial. She’s currently recovering her health. If the next trial can be scheduled, she will attend. [She will be able to attend] after early July.” When asked by the court about Goo Hara’s roommate, who was chosen as a witness, he stated, “[She was] a junior at [Goo Hara’s] university,” and added that she had told him it would be difficult for her to attend.
Goo Hara’s side then stated, “The victim wants to make a statement. She said she wanted to do it herself.” As a result, the court set the next trial date for July 25, and allocated about 2 hours and 30 minutes of time, including the time for witness interrogation.
In the first trial held on April 18, Choi Jong Bum denied all of the charges made against him with the exception of the charges of destruction and damage of property. During the trial, Choi Jong Bum’s lawyer stated, “The photos were not taken against the victim’s wishes, and they are not photos that would induce sexual desire or humiliation.”
On May 26, it was reported that Goo Hara had attempted suicide in a room at her house on the previous night. She was immediately transferred to the hospital after being found unconscious by her manager. Due to this incident, Choi Jong Bum’s side requested a postponement for the trial, but was rejected by the court. On May 28, Goo Hara stated through her representative, “I’m truly sorry for causing concern due to the recent event. I am currently recovering my health.”
Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews