Goo Hara Testifies Behind Closed Doors At Ex-Boyfriend Choi Jong Bum’s 3rd Trial

On July 18, the Seoul Central District Court held the third trial for Choi Jong Bum, who has been charged with violating 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. He has denied all charges except destruction and damage of property at his first trial.

Previously, Choi Jong Bum and Goo Hara were involved in a physical altercation in which 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 has also been accused of threatening to leak a sex video, though he did not actually do so.

The third trial was attended by both Choi Jong Bum and Goo Hara, with the latter testifying as a witness. Also testifying as witnesses were Goo Hara’s roommate and her agency CEO. Because Goo Hara and her roommate applied for witness support services, they were allowed to testify behind closed doors. As the witness’s testimony was partly about sexual assault, the witness interrogation was also allowed to proceed in private.

Goo Hara and her acquaintances were originally supposed to testify at the second trial on May 30, but she was excused for health reasons.

After the witnesses finished testifying, the defense’s final comments were opened to the public. Choi Jong Bum denied that he had filmed a sex video with the intent to distribute it (an act that is commonly referred to as “revenge porn”) and claimed that it was not the type of video that he could have distributed. He said, “The sex video was first suggested by Goo Hara and I filmed it after agreeing to her request. I appear in over 90 percent of the video and Goo Hara is wearing clothes while I am not wearing clothes. It is not a video that I could have distributed or shared.”

The judge asked the prosecutor if the video had been submitted as evidence and the prosecutor replied, “We did not submit the video as it contains sexual content.” However, the judge said that the video’s contents would be important to the case, considering the defense’s line of argument, and said that the court must check the video, even if it was behind closed doors.

Goo Hara’s lawyer then opposed the action, saying, “I think that it is inappropriate to talk about the video’s contents. It is certain that the video will prove to be a sex video after checking it. I understand that the judge needs to check the video in order to accurately assess the case, but no matter how private the trial, it is hard to accept the replaying of the video in a place with so many people. It is a second form of harassment.”

The judge eventually ruled, “There is a difference in what both sides are claiming the video shows. Therefore, it is important to confirm what content the video contains.” However, in order to protect Goo Hara’s private life, only the judge will be able to check the video’s contents.

After the judge checks the video, the closing arguments will be presented on July 25.

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Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews

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