Court Dismisses Appeals On Both Sides In The East Light’s Child Abuse Case
On December 20, the final sentencing hearing was held for the appeal trial of The East Light’s abuse case.
In July, Media Line Entertainment producer Moon Young Il was sentenced to two years in prison on charges of child abuse of former The East Light members Lee Seok Cheol and Lee Seung Hyun. Media Line Entertainment CEO Kim Chang Hwan was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years of probation, for aiding and abetting child abuse.
The prosecution and the defendants both appealed the sentences. At one of the hearings for the appeal case in November, the prosecution accused the defendants of not feeling proper remorse for their actions.
On December 20, the Seoul Central District Court, under chief judge Lee Kwan Yong, dismissed the appeals filed by Kim Chang Hwan and the prosecution. However, the court decided to overturn Moon Young Il’s previous sentence of two years in prison and reduced it to one year and four months. Moon Young Il was also ordered to attend an educational program on child abuse treatment and be banned from working with children for three years.
The court stated, “After the incident, Moon Young Il kept his distance from the victims for over a year and there are no similar incidents in his criminal record. We also considered the fact that he deposited 50 million won for the victims during the appeal case.”
Since Kim Chang Hwan’s appeal was dismissed, his original sentence stayed the same. The court stated, “Offering a 14-year-old cigarettes is emotionally abusive behavior. It is true that he hit Lee Seung Hyun in the back of the head once, but we do not determine that to be grounds for executing his sentence.” Executing his sentence refers to the fact that the prosecution had wanted Kim Chang Hwan to serve his sentence directly rather than have his sentence suspended.
After the court’s decision, Lee Seok Cheol’s lawyer released a statement that expressed his disappointment with the court’s ruling. The lawyer said that although the court had acknowledged the truth of his clients’ statements and cast doubt on Lee Eun Sung’s witness testimony, the judge had chosen to keep or reduce the defendants’ sentences.
He continued, “Kim Chang Hwan makes a mockery of the judicial process by not only denying his own crimes but by inciting Lee Eun Sung, Jung Sa Gang, and Moon Young Il to commit perjury on his behalf. This has been like a second attack to the victims, but the court has chosen to give him a suspended sentence. We regret this deeply.
“Moon Young Il has agreed and complied with Kim Chang Hwan’s behavior, and unilaterally made the deposit to the victims without their consent. The victims made it clear to the court that they did not agree. Therefore, we cannot understand how his sentence has been reduced.”
He concluded, “If a severe punishment for the offenders is the first step for the victims’ recovery, then the fact that the defendants keep denying the crime and lie in appeal trials means that the offence is ongoing. We intend to submit our hopes for appeal to the Supreme Court to the prosecution.”
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