Ex-boyfriend of Goo Hara (구하라), Choi Jongbum (최종범) will most likely receive probation with suspended sentence for attempt of blackmail as well as physical assault.
The former KARA member’s legal representatives responded to the court’s ruling on Thursday (29th August 2019) to give Choi an 18-month suspended sentence with 3 years of probation.
The Seoul Central District Court, led by head judge Oh Deoksik has sentenced the defendant (Choi Jungbum) to undergo probation, based on the fact that he had no intention of hurting the victim (Goo Hara), and that the sex video was not filmed against her will, nor was even shared to the public.
The court further claimed that “while Choi did not get Goo’s full consent to record their sexual act, the two were in fact involved in a romantic relationship at the time of the recording and Goo did not specifically stop Choi from recording either.”
During the assessment for this case, the court concluded, “During the breakup, Choi caused injuries to the victim as well as received injuries in his own face. He was angry about this and in turn threatened her to contact a media outlet in an attempt to end the victim’s entertainment career. By making her kneel down, he caused serious suffering to the female celebrity victim.”
Goo Hara’s legal representative expressed their shock towards the order. “The court admitted Choi Jongbum was guilty for threatening, forcing, physically assaulting, and damaging property. Yet they still sentenced him to probation anyway. That cannot be seen as an adequate ruling,” said one of the reps as a response to the court’s decision.
They additionally hinted at appealing for Choi Jungbum to receive a heavier penalty, saying, “Society needs tougher punishments in order to eradicate the kind of criminal behaviour that Choi Jongbum committed. We hope that during the appeals trial, the defendant will be appropriately sentenced according to the weight of his crime.”
The Goo Hara-Choi Bungjun case has been ongoing since last year, following the former’s claims that her ex-boyfriend attempted to threaten her as well as caused physical assault.