Rape Convict Choi Jong Hoon Exempted From Mandatory Military Service; Netizens Furious

Kpop star Choi Jong Hoon, who is serving a jail term in the sexual assault case, has been exempted from mandatory military service.

The South Korean Supreme Court had recently sentenced two former Kpop stars, Jung Joon Young and Choi Jong Hoon, to jail term in a sexual assault case. On the same day, the court also decided to exempt Choi from compulsory military service. This enraged netizens, who are slamming the judicial verdict.

The judiciary stated that the decision was taken considering the clauses in the Korean law. The law states that those sentenced to more than one year and six months in prison will be exempted from the military service. The time convict spends in the prison will be counted as wartime labor.

Choi Jong Hoon and Jung Joon Young
Former KPop stars Choi Jong Hoon and Jung Joon Young have been sentenced to jail term in sexual assault case. Instagram

What Does Korean Law Say?

Choi has been sentenced to 2.6 years of jail term. Out of this, 21 months will be considered as wartime labor and he will be exempted from 1.5 years of compulsory military service. Netizens have claimed that it is like Choi has been sentenced to only one year of jail term for the sexual assault case.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had sentenced Jung to five years of jail term and Choi was sentenced to 2.6 years of jail term. The Supreme Court upheld the Seoul High Court's order. Former Kpop singers are convicted of sexually assaulting a woman in an inebriated state in Hongdae in January 2016. They are also convicted of a similar crime in Daegu in March 2016.

Judiciary Showing Lenience

Both had pleaded not guilty during their first trial. But they changed their stand and pleaded guilty during the second trial. Initially the Seoul district court had sentenced Jung to six years jail term and Choi to five years jail term. But the high court court considered the fact that both had self reflected on their crimes, were repenting and reduced their sentence to five years and 2.6 years, respectively.

Netizens also have slammed the judiciary for being lenient towards the two singers. They called the sentencing too short and claimed that the judiciary was rigged. Netizens even said that they do not want to see the convicts back in the entertainment industry.