The Seoul Central District Court has sentenced 10 months in prison for Himchan, a member of the now-disbanded boy group BAP, in a sexual assault case. The verdict was announced on Wednesday, 24 February.
The singer will not be arrested immediately as it has given an opportunity for the victim to forgive him failing which he will have to serve 10 months in prison apart from undergoing 40 hours of a sex crime prevention program.
"The evidence, including statements from the victim, is credible and backs the charges," the Korea Times quotes judge Jung Sung-hwan as saying. He added, "The seriousness of the crime and the fact that the victim did not forgive him were factored into the sentencing."
In September 2018, Himchan and five others were hanging out together. He and the victim had a drink at a guest house in Namyangju when the singer allegedly grabbed her breast and kissed her without her consent.
All through the trial, Himchan had denied touching her inappropriately and defended himself by stating that the feelings were mutual. "The two met for the first time, but there were good feelings between them. It is true that he touched her chest and they kissed, but there was no more physical contact besides that. The skinship was consensual, not forced molestation," his legal counsel was quoting as saying by Koreaboo earlier.
Himchan came to light with BAP group way back in 2012. However, the band was disbanded in 2019. Originally, it had six members - Himchan, Daehyun, Youngjae, Bang Yong Guk, Zelo, and Jongup.
Nonetheless, Himchan has already paid a price for involving in this case as he has lost many projects. He launched a solo career with 'Reason of my Life' in October 2020. Unfortunately, he landed in a drunk driving case a day after the album hit the stores.