The past few days have been interesting to say the least. Days ago word spread from South Korea that someone accused Yoochun Park (firstname,lastname) of rape. The accusations went all over the world before Park or his management company, CJeS, were notified by the police of an investigation.
Rape is an incredibly serious accusation. But an accusation is not a statement of fact. If Park is guilty, he should be treated like trash. If Park is innocent, the haphazard and lazy reports based on unsubstantiated claims and rank speculation will have ruined his life and the lives of his family.
As of now there are/were two sets of claims: (1) The first accusation, which was quickly recanted by the person who made it; and (2) Another claim from someone who said something happened a year ago.
Almost as quickly as the first accusation was made, it was recanted or withdrawn. According to reports, because of the laws in Korea, even if a person recants a criminal allegation the police will still investigate in an attempt to get to the truth of the matter.
While this first recanted accusation was rolling around the media, a second claim came out of nowhere which supposedly happened a year ago, or so the allegation goes.
Here’s what we know: Not a goddamn thing. I’m serious.
Even the management company said they found out about these allegations through the media. As the “scandal” made headlines, Park and CJeS were awaiting word from the police with regard to what was supposed to have happened (or not) and who made the allegations.
CJeS released a statement calling the allegations “groundless” and are promising to “take legal action for defamation and accusation”, according to translated reports.
Also according to translated reports, Park’s management company said:
“The police [are] still conducting an investigation for the first complaint, and we believe they will release a not guilty outcome very soon.
Before Park Yoochun was even called for interview for the first complaint, we got to know of the second groundless, ridiculous complaint through the news.”
CJeS said Park has “received a huge emotional trauma” and implores people to “wait for the investigation results”.
Park has also put his career on the line by saying, through his management team, that if he’s found guilt of any crime he will “retire from the entertainment industry”. It wouldn’t be up to him to retire, but it’s an indication of how serious Park thinks this issue is.
Hopefully a thorough police investigation will get to the bottom of what happened (or didn’t happen). But in the meantime, the media has played a disgusting role in this story.
The coverage on this “scandal” has been some of the shoddiest, $hittiest coverage I’ve ever read. CJeS called the reports “malicious”. I can’t speak to that, but from what I’ve seen I wouldn’t be surprised. To be sure, “netizens” sticking their uninformed two-cents in via social media haven’t made it any better.
A few of the big name Korean news blogs posted reports not based on police statements or evidence because, as of this writing, the police haven’t released any conclusive statements about Park’s guilt or innocence. Instead, most of their reports seem to simply parrot what the recanted allegation was with no follow up questions commonly associated with the reporting of such scandals.
Typical questions to be asked by any “news” outlet should concern the veracity, or lack thereof, of the allegations. Questions like:
1 Were there witnesses who saw Park interact with the accuser on the date and time in question?
2 Has it actually been confirmed by police, receipts, video, or by Park himself that the two had sexual contact?
3 Is there any DNA evidence proving the two had sexual contact?
4 Is there CCTV footage putting Park and the accuser at/near the location where the alleged assault supposedly occurred?
5 At the time of the alleged assault, where were the other people who accompanied Park to the bar/entertainment establishment?
6 Have the other people accompanying Park confirmed his absence from their party/event/group during the period of time an alleged assault supposedly occurred?
7 Has this accuser made accusations against any other person or recanted allegations before?
8 What time did Park leave the location?
9 What time does CCTV show Park leaving the location and how does that compare to the time of the alleged assault?
10 In which bathroom — ladies or mens — did the alleged assault occur and were there other women (or men) present who can confirm the two were in that area during the time of the alleged assault?
11 Has Park been charged or investigated by police for similar accusations in the past?
12 Does the accuser or anyone associated with her have any financial motive or professional incentive to make such accusations?
Do you know why these questions don’t have answers? Because the police haven’t released the results of their f-cking investigation! So, any “news” outlet pretending to be psychic about what’s going to happen or claiming to be ‘in the know’ may be outright lying or misleading their readers.
Normally, it’s the person making the allegation who has the burden of proof. In the case of a celebrity, the public believes the worst first and then waits to see if the celebrity can prove their innocence.
I don’t even have a journalism background and I came up with a dozen f-cking questions which no news outlet, from my research, has even demanded answers to before making baseless conclusions about the investigation or the future of Park’s career.
The Korean media and/or U.S. based sites have been spreading unfounded gossip dressed up as news, possibly as a way to get clicks/traffic. One post even speculated that “mobsters” were sent to shut the accuser up, with zero evidence confirming anybody ever contacted any accuser, and no independent proof of anyone from Park’s side attempting to reach out to either person.
Hell, at this point, I don’t even know if Park or CJeS knew who the accuser was when the first recanted allegation was made. They found out about the allegations on the news like everyone else!
Some sites have based entire reports on conjecture from random people who don’t know anything about Park or the actual accuser, nor do they have any proven connection to the police officers investigating the claim.
The way I see it, there’s two issues which need to be separated: sexual contact and alleged rape. Whether Park Yoochun had consensual sex with this person is beside the point, even though we have no proof that it even occurred. He’s a grown-ass man of 30. He’s not going to stay a virgin to placate fans. The issue HERE is whether he committed an assault. That’s a criminal act.
Like I said earlier, if he’s guilty, then netizens have every right to go off and treat him like $hit. However, if netizens treat him like $hit, and he’s innocent, they can’t take it back by saying ‘sorry’ or by slyly moving on to the next celebrity scandal.
If he’s innocent, they will have treated him like garbage for nothing and irreparably harmed his reputation.
Given the way the media has irresponsibly reported these allegations, I have no idea how much of this $hit is true and how much is totally fabricated. The way this has been handled is terrible, both for real victims and innocent men/women.
The only fact we have is some woman accused Park of a crime and then recanted/withdrew her allegation almost as quickly as it was made. Park Yoochun’s name has gone all over the world with an unsubstantiated claim attached to it and no one bothered to wait for the evidence… if any exists.
One thing’s for sure: the speculation on social media is off the f-cking rails right now. People are posting all manners of reckless $hit and bashing Park for other unfounded stories completely unrelated to this allegation. It’s enough to make someone suspicious of it being a coordinated effort.
I am not surprised at people’s concern about this story. But it’s a problem that the total lack of any goddamn evidence HASN’T stopped know-nothing media outlets from recklessly posting unsubstantiated allegations as fact.