Choi Jong Bum’s Case Involving Goo Hara Heads To Supreme Court After Both He And Prosecutors Appeal Ruling
The case of Choi Jong Bum, the ex-boyfriend of Goo Hara, is heading to Supreme Court after both sides filed appeals over his recent sentence.
On July 9, it was reported that Choi Jong Bum has submitted an appeal to the Seoul Central District Court. The prosecutors filed an appeal the day before.
In September 2018, Goo Hara and Choi Jong Bum got into a physical altercation and he initially reported to the police that Goo Hara had assaulted him. Goo Hara countered by saying that Choi Jong Bum had blackmailed her with a sex tape, threatening to end her career. 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.
In 2019, 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. In his first trial last August, he received a prison sentence of one year and six months, suspended for three years of probation, which both he and the prosecution filed an appeal over.
During the appeal trial on May 21, he pled guilty to all charges except the one regarding nonconsensual filming. On July 2, the court gave their ruling that the probation from Choi Jong Bum’s first trial would be revoked and he was sentenced to one year in prison. The court also maintained its previous verdict of finding Choi Jong Bum not guilty of filming the victim’s body without consent, stating that it could not be said without a reasonable doubt that the video had been filmed without her permission.
Following the appeal trial, Goo Hara’s brother Goo Ho In shared that while the family was comforted by the fact that Choi Jong Bum’s sentence was no longer suspended, they were disappointed with the only one-year prison time and the fact that he was not found guilty of filming without consent. Goo Ho In stated that they would be requesting that the prosecutors submit a final appeal over the ruling.
Noh Jong Eon, the legal representative of Goo Hara’s family, explained their reason for filing a final appeal over the sentence. “We’re hoping that the Supreme Court will give a ruling that considers the victim’s stance above all else in cases of illegal filming, as they can experience very great damage that they might never recover from.” He added, “We are hoping for a ruling that is just and aligns with universal common sense.”
“When it comes to crimes of sexual violence, the most important thing is the victim,” he emphasized. “We are sincerely hoping that this opportunity will change the focus of the ruling, which has so far been on the perpetrator.”
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