Actor Kang Ji-hwan, who was indicted in July on charges of raping a woman and molesting another at his home, was given a suspended prison sentence by a local court on Thursday.
The Seongnam branch of the Suwon District Court sentenced 42-year-old Kang to an imprisonment of two and a half years, suspended for three years, after finding him guilty of sexually assaulting two female production staffers.
He was also ordered to conduct 120 hours of social service, undergo 40 hours of sexual offender treatment and be restricted from employment for three years.
Kang, whose birth name is Jo Tae-gyu, was arrested on July 9 for raping a female employee of a production outsourcing company and sexually molesting another woman belonging to the same company at his home in Gwangju, about 50 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The two victims were sleeping at Kang's house after a drinking session there.
In the previous hearing on Nov. 21, prosecutors demanded a three-year jail term for Kang.
After debuting as a musical actor in 2001, Kang appeared in about 25 movies and TV dramas and won several acting awards.
Ahead of the sentencing trial, the two victims and other colleagues submitted petitions asking the court not to punish the actor.
The Seongnam court said it took the petitions for leniency into consideration in determining the amount of his sentence.
"The defendant confessed to one criminal charge and contested another for lack of evidence, but his guilt has been recognized. It is wished that the petitions from his victims and acquaintances and his repeated repentance shown during previous hearings are genuine," the court said.
"Despite the victims' pleas for a lenient verdict, the defendant should repent for his sexual crime for the rest of his life," the court said. (Yonhap)