K-pop boss charged with raping artistes
Two years ago, he was the pretty boy who claimed he was molested.
Karam from popular K-pop boy band The Boss had confessed to being groped by an older man and many cynics had pinned it down to a publicity stunt.
But just three days ago, the 20-year-old may have been exonerated in spectacular fashion, at least in the eyes of K-pop fans who believe that he was talking about his boss.
In a shocking turn of events, the chief executive of Open World Entertainment, Jang Seok Woo, was arrested on multiple charges of sex crimes.
The charges against Jang include sexually harassing, assaulting and raping his agency's artistes and trainees - two of them underage girls, reported Asian news website asianjunkie.com.
Thanks to confiscated CCTV footage, the Korean police found out that the sexual assaults allegedly occurred on the company's fifth storey and in the rehearsal studio in the building's basement.
A Gangnam Police Station spokesman was quoted by The Korean Herald, a Korean newspaper, as saying: "We arrested Mr Jang on the suspicions of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and the total number of female victims is six, with two of them being teens who are underage... He has admitted to a portion of them (the charges)."
He added: "This is a (case) of a sensitive nature which we are in the midst of investigating, so we are approaching it with caution."
Although specific details about the victims have not been revealed, some of them were reportedly celebrity hopefuls who had yet to sign an official contract with the agency.
Korean independent record label Open World Entertainment's stable of artistes include boy bands The Boss and X-5, recording artistes Jun Jin and Kim Horam, actors Ko Joo Won and Shin Ji Soo, and a large number of girl group trainees.
The Boss, which stands for The Boys of Super Spice - consisting of Mika, Karam, Hyunmin, Injun and Jay - was formed in 2010.
Karam had surmised then that his feminine features may have been the reason why "many older men" had groped him.
Source: The New Paper
Published April 18 2012