Singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young has been arrested. It is the first celebrity arrest in the “Burning Sun Gate” scandal.
On Thursday at 8:50 p.m., police arrested singer-songwriter Jung Joon-young on charges of violating the Sexual Violence Crime Laws. With his arrest, Jung becomes the first entertainer to be arrested in connection with the “Burning Sun Gate,” the title given the convoluted investigations of those connected to nightclub Burning Sun, Lee Seung-hyun, popularly known as Seungri, and Jung Joon-young.
Appear at the court at 9:35 a.m. on the same day, police questioned Jung hours before his arrest from 10:30 in the morning to 12:17 in the afternoon. Prior to the warrant hearing, Jung stood before the press where he apologized using a prepared script. “I’m really sorry,” he said, and “I committed an unpardonable crime. I accepted all the charges against me. Today, we will not argue over the allegation and follow the court’s judgment.”
Jung also issued an apology to those he victimized. “I once again apologize to the victims. I apologize to all of the women who have been damaged through no fault of their own, and to all those who have shown interest and affection to me so far. For now on, I will sincerely cooperate with the investigation process and reflect on what I have done for the rest of my life.”
Jung wept while reading the apology and stopped talking at once point due to his tears. However, he did not answer questions from reporters following his statement. In particular, Jung kept mum on whether he received consent from the victims before share the illegally filmed videos.
As a result, public criticism of Jung as intensified. Many say that his “crocodile tears” were fake and just a device to avoid arrest. However, tears are not a valid legal reason for police to not complete an arrest warrant.
On the day of the arrest, Lim Min-sung who is a judge at the Seoul District Court, said that with the status of crucial material evidence submitted, the circumstances of and after the crimes were committed, and the progression of the investigation so far that the “reason for the arrest of the accused and its considerable validity are recognized.” Further, there was also a concern that Jung may destroy evidence, although he has submitted three mobile phones for digital forensic investigation.
Jung is suspected of spreading filming and sharing sex videos in group chatrooms he shared with other celebrities without permission. Some of the stars in these chatrooms include Lee Seung-hyun, former Highlight member Yong Jun-hyung, former F.T. Island Choi Jong-hoon, and CNBLUE member Lee Jong-hyun. Additionally, authorities believe that Jung shared at least ten videos since late 2015.