Choi Jong Bum Receives Suspended Sentence And Goo Hara's Legal Reps Respond + Prosecution Appeals

Updated September 5 KST:

On September 5, it was revealed that the prosecution filed an appeal against the court’s sentence for Choi Jong Bum on September 4.

Choi Jong Bum had received a prison sentence of one year and six months, suspended for three years of probation.

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On August 29, the Seoul Central District Court, led by head judge Oh Duk Shik, handed down their sentence for Goo Hara’s ex-boyfriend Choi Jong Bum.

Choi Jong Bum received a prison sentence of one year and six months, suspended for three years of probation. This means that if he commits an offense during the three-year probation period, he will serve out his prison sentence for one year and six months.

Justice Oh stated, “Mr. Choi was the first to initiate the breakup. After getting drunk, he went to the victim’s house and found the victim sleeping. He woke her up and complained about the victim’s behavior before the situation severely and suddenly devolved into a violent physical fight. Looking at police photos from the incident, the victim was also severely scratched. We recognize that the victim was injured from violence that surpassed what could be called self-defense.”

With regards to the charge that Choi Jong Bum had threatened to send a video to a media outlet, the judge said, “Our view of the situation is that Mr. Choi was angry about the injuries he saw on his own body and told the victim that he would send a video that would make it impossible for her to pursue an entertainment career.”

The court found Choi Jong Bum guilty of four of the five charges that had been laid against him. He was acquitted of the charge of filming the victim’s body without permission. Justice Oh said, “The victim did not give her express consent, but it does not appear as though the defendant went against the victim’s will.”

In their assessment of the case, the court concluded, “During the breakup process with his lover, Mr. Choi caused injuries to the victim as well as receiving injuries on his own face. He was angry about this and threatened to contact a media outlet to end the victim’s career. By making her kneel and other such behavior, he caused serious suffering to the female celebrity victim.”

Goo Hara’s legal representatives issued a response to the statement that said, “The court has acknowledged that the defendant is guilty of intimidation, assault, coercion, and property damage, but has given him a suspended sentence. Society needs tougher punishments in order to eradicate the kind of criminal behavior that Choi Jong Bum committed. We hope that during the appeals trial, the defendant will be appropriately sentenced according to the weight of his crime.”

Back in 2018, Goo Hara and Choi Jong Bum got into a physical altercation on September 13 around 1 a.m. Choi Jong Bum initially reported to the police that Goo Hara had assaulted him, but Goo Hara countered with claims that Choi Jong Bum had blackmailed her with a sex tape. Eventually both were forwarded to the prosecution on separate charges, but Goo Hara received a suspension of indictment while Choi Jong Bum’s case went to trial.

Earlier this year, Choi Jong Bum was charged by prosecutors 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 denied all charges aside from the one on property damage. Goo Hara was scheduled to testify as a witness in Choi Jong Bum’s trial, but her testimony was delayed for health reasons. She eventually testified behind closed doors in July. Later that month, the prosecution demanded a prison sentence of three years for Choi Jong Bum.

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Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews

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