Former Lotte Giants pitcher Seo Jun-won has been sentenced to five years of probation for producing sexually explicit images of minors. Although he was spared jail time, the sex offense effectively banned him from baseball forever.

On the afternoon of the 13th, the Busan District Court Criminal Division 5 (Chief Judge Jang Jong-seok) sentenced Seo Jun-won, who was charged with violating the Sexual Protection of Children and Adolescents Act (producing and distributing sexual exploitation materials), to three years in prison and five years of probation.

The court also ordered Seo to perform 120 hours of community service, 40 hours of lectures on sexual violence treatment, and a five-year employment restriction at organizations for children, youth, and the disabled.

The court said, “The evidence establishes your guilt. In addition, the guilt is heavy considering the method of the crime, the extent of the damage, and the fact that the crime was committed for only one day, that the defendant did not distribute the sexual exploitation, that he paid the victim’s mother and settled with the victim, and that he is a first-time offender,” the court said in its sentencing reasons.

Earlier, at a hearing held on March 23, prosecutors said, “Mr. Seo produced sexually exploitative material against a victim who was a first-time offender or a minor. As a public figure, he should be a model for society, but he committed a serious crime with a large social impact.” The prosecution had asked for a six-year prison sentence, but the court took into account the consensual nature of the case and the fact that he was a first-time offender.

In August 2022, Seo Jun-won went on trial for allegedly lying to the victim in a KakaoTalk open chat room set up by the victim, who was underage, by pretending to give her pocket money and demanding that she send him nude photos.

It was also found that Seo Jun-won sent sexually explicit messages to the victim on 60 occasions even though he knew she was a minor, and on seven occasions asked the victim to take pictures of her body and other parts, which were then sent to him to create sexual exploitation.안전놀이터

Earlier, after graduating from Kaesong Middle School and Gyeongnam High School, Seo Jun-won entered the professional league as the 2019 Lotte 1st round pick with a contract of 350 million won. Expectations were high for Seo, who showed promise in high school.

In his first year, Seo appeared in 33 games, going 4-11 with a 5.47 ERA. The following year, in 2020, he was expected to do the same, appearing in 31 games and pitching 107.2 innings, but he only went 7-6 with a 5.18 ERA. While his performance didn’t meet expectations in his first two seasons, he showed a lot of promise, so Lotte continued to give him chances.

However, his performance in 2021 was even worse, as he went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in 26 games. He followed that up with a 3-3 record and a 4.80 ERA in 2022, his best season since his professional debut, and the news came out of the blue in the offseason as expectations were building for 2023.

It turns out the highly touted prospect was a sexual predator. The Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) has now suspended him from participation. While he was able to avoid jail time with probation, his chances of ever returning to baseball are now gone.

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