Ex-K-Pop star Jung Joon-young Released After Serving a Five-Year Prison Term

Former K-pop sensation Jung Joon-young was released from prison on Tuesday following the completion of his five-year sentence for involvement in gang rape and unauthorised filming, marking a pivotal moment in South Korea’s high-profile spycam scandal.

Jung was convicted of rape on two separate occasions in 2016 and was found guilty of secretly recording sexual encounters with multiple women without their knowledge or consent, subsequently distributing the footage illicitly.

The term “molka,” denoting spycam videos, refers to clandestine recordings typically made by men in various settings, including schools and restrooms, often featuring non-consensual footage of women.

Jung’s case unfolded amidst a wave of prominent sex scandals involving male celebrities, coinciding with South Korea’s #MeToo movement, where thousands of women rallied in Seoul in 2018, decrying the invasion of privacy and exploitation inherent in such actions.

Fellow K-pop idol and former BIGBANG member Seungri also faced legal repercussions for his involvement in Jung’s illicit activities, alongside his own entanglement in a separate sex and drug scandal linked to the “Burning Sun” nightclub.

Exiting the prison facility in Mokpo, located approximately 350 kilometres south of Seoul, Jung, donning a black hat and mask, evaded the press without making any statements.

Jung had risen to prominence in 2012 after achieving third place in the audition programme “Super Star K” and enjoying success with several solo releases until the spycam scandal tarnished his reputation, prompting his retirement from the entertainment industry in early 2019.

The revelations surrounding Jung’s misconduct emerged amidst broader discussions on sexual exploitation and privacy violations in South Korea, culminating tragically in the suicide of former Kara member Goo Hara in 2019, following her victimisation through “revenge porn” by an ex-partner.

The scandal has cast a shadow over the realm of professional sports as well, with South Korean footballer Hwang Ui-jo, currently on loan at Turkish club Alanyaspor from Nottingham Forest, facing allegations of non-consensual filming during sexual encounters. Hwang vehemently denies the accusations as investigations into his alleged involvement continue.

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