S.Korean actor Kang Ji Hwan faces possible three-year jail term for rape

Sylvia Looi
South Korean actor Kang Ji Hwan is facing a three-year jail sentence for raping two women while they were asleep. ― Picture via Facebook/kangjihwan

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 ― South Korean actor Kang Ji Hwan is facing a possible three-year jail term for sexually assaulting two women while they were sleeping.

Korean pop culture website Soompi reported that prosecution had wrapped up the case at the Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Court yesterday where Kang, 42, had been charged with “quasi-rape” and “quasi-indecent” acts by force.

According to Article 299 of the Criminal Act, quasi-rape is applicable to cases where a person “engages in sexual intercourse with another person by taking advantage of his or her state of unconsciousness or inability to resist.” 

In addition to the prison term, prosecutors also recommended that Kang Ji Hwan complete a rape treatment programme, register on the sex offender registry and be barred from employment at any workplace which provides services to children or the disabled for five years.

In appealing for lower sentence, Kang's defence said the actor had admitted guilt and was remorseful and had also apologised to his victims.

The portal further reported that the lawyer urged the court to consider witnesses’ testimonies which stated that the crime was not premeditated.

The defence also stated that Kang’s life had already been “destroyed overnight over one tragic mistake.”

In giving his testimony earlier, Kang said he had wanted to star in a film that garnered over 10 million viewers.

“I wanted to stand on stage and express my gratitude at an awards ceremony. I wanted to raise a beautiful family and become the best father in the world.

“I have messed everything up. I resent myself for creating this unbelievable reality. It pains me that one mistake has caused so many people to suffer to the point where I want to give up on this life.”

Kang was arrested at his Gwangju home on July 9 following reports of rape by the victims.

Sentencing has been scheduled for December 5.

Kang began his career in musical theatre before moving on to television, starring in television dramas such as Be Strong, Geum-soon! (2005), Capital Scandal (2007), and Hong Gil-dong (2008), as well as Rough Cut (2008) and My Girlfriend is an Agent (2009).

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