A former producer of Media Line Entertainment has received his sentence for child abuse against members of the idol group The East Light.
The producer named Moon Young Il was accused of child abuse by two members of the group: Lee Seok Cheol and Lee Seung Hyun. The story has been an ongoing saga as allegations of both physical and verbal abuse were revealed. In October of 2018, the group’s leader (Lee Seok Cheol) held a press conference¹ with his lawyer to reveal the situation of abuse, shocking Korean netizens and making headlines in news outlets around the globe.
On July 5th, the first sentencing hearing was held and Moon received the sentence of two years in prison, as well as 80 hours of an educational program on child abuse.
Meanwhile, Kim Chang Hwan, the former CEO of Media Line, received a sentence of eight months in prison suspended for two years of probation for charges of aiding and abetting child abuse. This means that he will serve no jail time as long as he doesn’t commit crimes during his two years of probation. If he does, he will then be sent to prison for eight months. He also must take 40 hours of an education program on child abuse as his treatment.
Meanwhile, Media Line Entertainment had previously admitted they were aware of the problem one year and four months before the abuse was revealed to the public. However, they went on to state that they had taken care of the problem and spoken with the parents about the problem. Despite that, they allowed the producer in question to continue working with the group, although they stated there had been no further incidents of abuse.² As such, the courts decided the company was also sentenced a fine of 20 million won ($17,000 USD).
The court said, “The defendants promised the parents (of the victims) careful guidance, but they betrayed the parents’ faith and treated the victims as if they were the company’s property. In today’s world where there are so many young people who want be entertainers, it is a horrible thing for society to rob them of their human dignity in exchange of their dreams.”
When the news first broke concerning the abuse, the CEO made his own statement that accused The East Light members of gross exaggeration and stated that he had never personally abused anyone in his 30 years in the entertainment industry. Although he said he had never abetted it either, he did say that he accepted the criticism for his negligence. ³ Despite that, after the hearing was over, the various media outlets waiting outside the courthouse asked the former CEO of his plans. In response, he revealed that he would appeal the sentence.