The Supreme Court has denied bail to Choi Jong Bum in the case of assaulting and threatening his ex-girlfriend, late Goo Hara. Choi had submitted a plea seeking bail in September with the first division of the apex court. The court rejected his plea while observing that there was no good reason to grant Choi bail.
Choi has been sentenced to one year in prison during the second trial for assaulting and threatening the late Kpop singer. Choi's request to review the decision was rejected by the court that also said that the decision of granting punishment was made with the consensus of the Supreme Court Justices involved in the case and there was no reason to change it.
The court insisted on severe punishment for the crimes Choi is charged with. The court took the decision to punish Choi severely as they wanted him to learn his lesson and changed the sentence awarded to him during the first trial. The court had initially decided on three-year probation to Choi and 1.5 years jail if he violated probation rules. But during the second trial the Supreme Court opined that the sentence was too light and changed its verdict with one year jail term.
Choi Not Guilty of Filming Video Without Consent
Choi is currently facing five charges, including violating the special act on injury, intimidation, coercion, property damage and sexual violence crimes. However, he has been declared not guilty in charges of illegal filming. The court said that with the evidences available, it was difficult to come to a conclusion that the filming was done without the consent of the victim.
But the court observed that threatening to publish video of sexual intercourse causes irreparable pain to the victim and was seriously damaging her reputation. Justifying its decision to sentence Choi to jail and denying him bail, the court stated that the victim was a famous celebrity and Choi's intent of spreading video through the media would have resulted in irreparable damages to the victim.
The top court also said that the victim had not forgiven Choi. With Goo Hara's death, her family has pleaded for severe punishment to Choi. That is how the apex court came to a conclusion that ending the case with probation was not fair. Choi Jong Bum's next trial is scheduled for October 15.
Goo Hara Death
Goo Hara was found dead at her home in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam, on Nov. 24, 2019. Her death was ruled as suicide. Police found a suicide note written by Goo and autopsy was not performed taking into consideration her family's request. Her funeral was privately held at Gangnam Severance Hospital by family members and friends.
After Goo's death, fans submitted a petition with more than 200,000 signatures to the Blue House demanding severe punishment for filming sexual acts without consent and distributing it.
Choi was Goo's hairdresser and had threatened her with the video. This had brought bringing to an end Goo Hara's singing and acting career.
Interestingly, the first case was filed by Choi against Goo in September 2018. He had stated that Goo had assaulted him following an altercation on Sept. 13, 2018. But Goo filed a counter case stating that Choi had threatened and blackmailed her that he would release the sex tape. After the hearing, the court awarded Goo suspension of indictment and referred Choi's case to trial.