Two K-pop stars will spend the next several years behind bars—punishment for raping women who were too drunk to resist. Jung Joon-young, a singer-songwriter who rose to fame on a TV talent show, and Choi Jong-hoon, a former member of the boy band FT Island, burst into tears Friday as they were sentenced to six and five years in prison, respectively, reports the New York Times. “The accused perpetrated sexual crimes against multiple women, degrading women and treating them as mere tools of sexual pleasure,” judge Kang Seong-soo said from Seoul Central District Court. He also said Jung “filmed [the victims] nude and having sex, then spread it on a group chat,” per the BBC. Police came across the videos while investigating another participant, K-pop star Seungri, charged earlier this year with supplying prostitutes to business investors.
The judge said 30-year-old Choi “did not feel remorse after mass-raping drunken victims” in 2016. The 30-year-old Jung, who withdrew from the music industry after admitting to his actions in March, described “great remorse” in a final statement. “I deeply regret my foolishness,” he said. Both Jung and Choi are additionally required to complete 80 hours of sexual violence education and are prohibited from working with children. Still, they apparently maintain a fan base. In describing a culture of shaming victims, the BBC points to a “chat-room reaction” reading, “This is rather too much for this type of crime. These women were not kidnapped on the street, but followed the handsome singers.” However, the Guardian reports “most online commentators said the penalties were too lenient.” (The news follows the death of a female K-pop star.)