The Late Choi Jin-sil’s Good Deed 20 Years Ago Re-examined in Light of Miryang Gang Rape Incident

An online community post titled “Choi Jin-sil who aided a victim of the 2004 Miryang gang rape” began circulating on June 6th. The post referenced an interview with lawyer Kang Ji-won, who had previously defended Choi Jin-sil in a lawsuit brought against her by a construction company for 3 billion won for violating her dignity during her divorce.

During that period, Kang Ji-won was offering pro bono legal services to both Choi Jin-sil and A, the victim of the gang rape. However, there were objections to providing free legal aid to a well-known celebrity, and as a result, a legal fee was later agreed upon for Choi Jin-sil.

During the interview, lawyer Kang described the difficult circumstances faced by victim A after the case gained media attention. He shared, “In order to protect A and her family, we had to relocate them to Seoul. Unfortunately, no schools were willing to accept A as a student. We took action by protesting at the education office and advocating for schools to accept students like her. Eventually, our efforts paid off and A was able to transfer to a high school.”

Lawyer Kang described their life in Seoul, stating that they had fled without any possessions and were struggling to survive. At the time, Kang was representing Choi Jin-sil without charge, and faced criticism from an anti-Choi Jin-sil group. To support her case, Kang advised Choi Jin-sil to gather 10 million won. She readily accepted, believing it to be a cause worth supporting. Kang then divided the money, sending 5 million won to a counseling center for sexual violence and the remaining 5 million won to the victim’s mother.

Choi Jin Sil

The Miryang gang rape case caused public outcry when it was discovered that 44 male students had repeatedly raped and threatened a female student over the course of a year in 2004. Despite the severity of the crime, none of the perpetrators were held accountable, leading to widespread outrage. As a result, the incident served as inspiration for the film “Han Gong-ju”and tvN’s drama “Signal”.

On June 1st, a YouTube channel disclosed the identities of the primary individuals responsible for the Miryang gang rape case. It was discovered that one of the perpetrators was managing a restaurant with a family member in Cheongdo, while the other was employed at an automobile company. Nevertheless, following the revelation of their identities, the restaurant was demolished and the other perpetrator was terminated from his job.

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