Kang Ji Hwan Continues To Dispute Parts Of Evidence In 3rd Hearing For Sexual Assault Case
On November 4, the Seongnam Branch of the Suwon District Court held the third hearing for the sexual assault case against Kang Ji Hwan.
On July 9, actor Kang Ji Hwan was apprehended by the police at his home in Gwangju on suspicions of sexually assaulting and committing indecent assault on two female staff members while they were sleeping. A warrant was filed for his arrest on July 12, and the actor admitted to the majority of charges in a statement on July 15. After people began speculating about the incident, the victims came forward anonymously to clarify misunderstandings in an interview. On July 18, the police reported that they had tested Kang Ji Hwan for drugs and the results had come back negative. On July 25, the prosecution formally indicted Kang Ji Hwan on charges of quasi-rape and quasi-indecent acts by force.
Kang Ji Hwan’s first hearing was held on September 2. During the hearing, his lawyer said that his client admitted to the overall facts that were presented to him by the prosecution. However, the lawyer added that his client did not remember most of his actions and questioned part of the evidence that the prosecution had presented.
The second hearing, on October 7, was held in camera (not open to the public) because CCTV footage that could cause harm to the victims’ private lives was being presented as evidence.
At the third hearing on November 4, Kang Ji Hwan’s lawyers argued that if Kang Ji Hwan had touched the victim’s private areas while she was menstruating, then her DNA would have been found on Kang Ji Hwan, the other victim’s body, or on the mattress. The lawyers also used the KakaoTalk messages that the victim had sent to an acquaintance to dispute the victim’s testimony that she had been sleeping when she was sexually assaulted.
A close acquaintance of Kang Ji Hwan (henceforth known as “Yoo”), who had known him for 30 years, testified at the hearing.
Yoo said, “He is a loyal man and takes care of the people around him. As a friend, I admired the way he works hard. Usually, he takes care of his body and does not drink to extremes. When his filming schedule is set, he does not drink. There are times when he goes on a drinking binge after the production ends. One week before the incident, he was stressed that the script hadn’t come out yet and that there had been a difference of opinions between him and the director. I remember he was having a hard time about that. I think maybe he drank to relieve stress about that.”
Yoo further testified that Kang Ji Hwan had experienced blackouts and memory lapses due to excessive drinking in the past. When the lawyer asked if Kang Ji Hwan had ever caused harm to others during these incidents, Yoo said, “He does not cause accidents when he drinks. In fact, he becomes more docile. He hates appearing drunk in front of other people, so he is always careful of his words and actions when drunk.”
During the police investigation into Kang Ji Hwan’s case, Kang Ji Hwan’s DNA was found on the victims’ bodies. In each round of questioning by the police, Kang Ji Hwan said that he did not remember most of what happened.
The victims’ position is that Kang Ji Hwan was not completely drunk during the incident. The victims also allege that Kang Ji Hwan’s representatives tried to induce them to negotiate rather than go to the police.
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