Lee Young-ha, Kim Dae-hyun indicted for 'special violence' after school bullying accusations

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Lee Young-ha, Kim Dae-hyun indicted for 'special violence' after school bullying accusations

Lee Young-ha  [NEWS1]

Lee Young-ha [NEWS1]

Doosan Bears pitcher Lee Young-ha and LG Twins pitcher Kim Dae-hyun have been indicted on charges of “special violence” following an investigation into accusations they bullied teammates while students at Sunrin Internet High School.
Special violence is a charge that falls under Article 261 of Korea’s criminal code, covering a crime committed “through the threat of collective force or by carrying a dangerous weapon.” If found guilty, the pair could face up to five years in prison or a fine of up to 10 million won ($7,400).
Lee, who has been active for the Bears this season, is set to be tried at Seoul Western District Court, while Kim, who is currently fulfilling his mandatory military service, will be tried in a military court.
Lee and Kim, who are the same age and attended high school together, were accused last year of being bullies while in high school. The pair were among a number of public figures to be retroactively held to account for their behavior at school in recent years, including K-pop stars, actors and fellow athletes.
Kim Dae-hyun  [YONHAP]

Kim Dae-hyun [YONHAP]

Lee and Kim were accused by a former high school teammate of having bullied younger teammates, with the accuser saying on television that they were regularly unable to play because of the way they were treated by the older players.
At the time, both players denied the allegations.  
While Kim responded through a lawyer, saying that all the claims are untrue, Lee went into more detail, admitting that the high school baseball team took discipline seriously and had strict standards, and that he may have taken that discipline too far on occasion. He argued that he never targeted one specific person, however, saying all disciplinary matters were for the team as a whole.
After the accusations were first made, representatives of the Bears and Twins, along with officials from the KBO, met with the accuser on a number of occasions. The players were not punished at the time because there was too much disparity between their accounts and that of the accuser.
After those talks broke down, the accuser reported the case to Korea’s Sports Ethics Center, which later reported the case to the police. The decision to indict both players came after the police investigation.
Both players were indicted without detention. Lee was excluded from the Doosan entry on Aug. 21.

BY JIM BULLEY [jim.bulley@joongang.co.kr]
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