A Korean court has found the chief executive officer of Open World Entertainment guilty of sexually assaulting four star-wannabes or trainees and sentenced him to six years in prison.
On Aug. 10, the Seoul Central District Court convicted Jang Seok-woo, 51. In addition to the imprisonment, the court also sentenced Jang to two years of probation and ordered him to undergo 40 hours of sex offender treatment program.
His personal information will also be made public for five years.
In previous trial, prosecution asked the court to sentence Jang to nine years of imprisonment. Jang's application for bail was also denied by the court.
Quoting the court, Korean media said Jang admitted to having sexual relations with the trainees but said it was mutual. The court did not accept his argument.
Jang's case became controversial as it highlighted the ugly side of the Korean entertainment industry.
Back in April, Jang was arrested by the police at his office for sexually assaulting female trainees. He was later charged for the crime.
The police investigation said the sexual assault occurred on the fifth floor and basement dance studio of the Open World Entertainment building. It said the sexual assaults happened on various occasions from November 2010 to March this year.
After the sexual assault controversy became public, Open World Entertainment issued a statement to apologize and deny the charges.
“Police said that even after his 10 employees left work around 7 p.m., Jang stayed at the building to practice with his female singers. In the basement rehearsal studio, Jang made his female victims drink beer mixed with aphrodisiacs, then sexually assaulted them numerous times,” according to a report last April by newspaper JoongAng Daily.
Two of the victims were minors, reports said.
With Jang's conviction, it was not immediately known what will happen to Open World Entertainment and its talents. The agency manages boy bands X-5 and The Boss and actors Ko Joo-won and Shin Ji-soo.
By JONATHAN M. HICAP