BTOB's former member Jung Ilhoon receives lighter sentence on drug case trial

Jung Ilhoon, former member of BTOB (Image via @ilhoonmj/Instagram)
Jung Ilhoon, former member of BTOB (Image via @ilhoonmj/Instagram)

Former BTOB member, Jung Ilhoon, received a lighter sentence and was sentenced to 3 years of probation, in place of two years in prison, on December 16. The day that BTOB and its fandom had been waiting for finally arrived, as Seoul High Court held the second trial of the K-pop idol’s drug case and overturned the first trial’s sentence to a more lenient one.

Former BTOB member Ilhoon receives 3 years probation in appeal trial

Jung Ilhoon left BTOB in December 2020 after being investigated for smoking marijuana from July 2016 to January 2019. The former BTOB member was arrested and investigated for “purchasing and smoking” 826 grams of marij*ana approximately 161 times.

The idol admitted to drug use on the case’s first hearing in April 2021. When put on trial, the Prosecution had initially requested four years in prison for Ilhoon, which took fans and netizens alike by surprise. Though legal in some countries, marij*ana is still illegal in South Korea. Many raised and signed petitions claiming that the sentence was too harsh for the use of drugs.

The court then sentenced Ilhoon to two years in prison and a fine of 133 million KRW. That's when he filed an appeal to the High Court.

Finally, on December 16, the second trial for Ilhoon’s case was held and the sentence changed to 3 years of probation. He will also have to undergo 40 hours of drug treatment course and a fine of 120 million KRW.

The Judge stated that they considered the other angles, such as the K-pop idol not holding a criminal record and voluntarily quitting marij*ana in 2019. Reports also state that the judges considered the idol's attempts to prevent smoking drugs through mental health treatment.

Moreover, the former BTOB member submitted around 80 apology letters repenting for his actions and appealing for a lighter sentence.

Contradicting statements also arose from several Korean outlets stating the former BTOB member sold the drugs, as opposed to some articles only using “buying and smoking” them.

“Ilhoon is free” trends on Twitter as fans celebrate former BTOB member’s new sentence

In the end, Melodys celebrated the news with multiple phrases trending on Twitter. They heaved a sigh of relief, knowing Ilhoon would serve no jail time and be free. “#ILHOONISHOME” continues to trend on Twitter as many fans welcome him with open arms. Some are even hosting giveaways to celebrate the news.

When the star left BTOB in 2020, it was tough to say what his future would look like. One thing anyone can confidently say is that Melody will stay by his side.

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Edited by Mason J. Schneider
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