Prosecutors request 18 months in prison for Seo Se-won

April 21, 2015
Seo Se-won (Yonhap)

Seo Se-won (Yonhap)

Seoul prosecutors requested 18 months in prison for South Korean comedian-turned-pastor Seo Se-won, 59, who was indicted for physically assaulting his 53-year-old wife, Seo Jung-hee.

In the final trial held Tuesday at the Seoul Central District Court, prosecutors said the former top comedian displayed no signs of remorse for his actions, Yonhap reported.

In July last year, a CCTV video of Seo Se-won allegedly dragging a struggling Seo Jung-hee into an elevator surfaced. The couple filed for divorce last year, with Seo Jung-hee accusing her husband of cheating.

Seo Se-won denied the charges of assault against him and stated through his attorney that he has been negatively branded because of his wife’s testimony that she lived like a slave under assault through 30 years of marriage.

“My entire life and character have been hurt beyond recovery,” he said through his attorney.

He said he has a video of a testimony Seo Jung-hee gave in church, in which she says she least regrets marrying him and considers their marriage an act of God’s grace.

The elevator incident came about as a result of a fight involving Seo Jung-hee’s close relationship with a pastor of another church, Seo Seo-won said.

He and his attorney said the CCTV footage was staged by Seo Jung-hee to use as leverage in divorce procedures and has been blown out of proportion.

Last month, Seo Jung-hee said in court that she was sexually assaulted and kept in captivity by Seo Se-won after meeting him at age 19.

She said she had not come forward because she thought his transition into pastorship would change him.

Seo Se-won was one of Korea’s top television personalities through the 1990s after debuting in 1979. After a brush with the law for money embezzlement in the 2000s, he officially became a pastor in 2012.

The verdict hearing will take place May 14.