“Punishment with a soft bat” vs. “Reflection worked”… Nam Tae-hyun and Seo Min-jae avoid prison for 'using Philopon'
“Punishment with a soft bat” vs. “Reflection worked”… Nam Tae-hyun and Seo Min-jae avoid prison for 'using Philopon'
Idol-turned-singer Nam Tae-hyun (30), who was indicted on charges of purchasing and administering Philopon, was sentenced to probation in the first trial.

On the 18th, Chief Judge Jeong Cheol-min of Criminal Division 7 of the Seoul Western District Court sentenced Nam Tae-hyun to one year in prison and two years of probation. Broadcaster and former lover Seo Min-jae (31), who also used Philopon, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and two years of probation. In addition, he was ordered to undergo probation and take 40 hours of drug addiction treatment classes.

The court pointed out, "The defendants are famous singers and influencers who can have a great influence on many fans and the public, so they should set an example, but they committed crimes that could have a negative impact on society." He added, "Nam Tae-hyun was booked for smoking marijuana at the time of the crime, and the fact that he took drugs during the investigation is considered to be a disadvantage."

However, the court said, "Not only are the defendants pledging not to use drugs again, but they are also demonstrating their will to abstain from drugs through rehabilitation treatment, etc.," and added, "We consider the fact that the defendants' acquaintances are appealing for leniency as an advantageous situation." added.

Amid the recent growing calls for increased punishment for drug crimes, there has been a series of criticisms regarding the court's decision, saying, "Isn't this a too-soft punishment?" On the other hand, there is also an advocacy position that says, "It appears that sincere reflection, such as publicly stating the will to quit and actually living at the center, is working."

Meanwhile, Nam Tae-hyun bowed his head as he left the courthouse after the trial, saying, "I'm sorry. I look at myself and reflect on myself every day. I don't know what I can do in the future, but I will live my life while having a positive influence on society." He added that there are no plans to appeal.

Nam Tae-hyun and Seo Min-jae, who were in a romantic relationship at the time, are accused of taking 0.5 g of Philopon purchased through Telegram in August 2022 by mixing it with alcohol (violation of the Narcotic Drugs Control Act). Nam Tae-hyun was also accused of taking 0.2 grams of Philopon alone in December of the same year.

In August of the same year, Seo Mi-jae posted a post accusing Nam Tae-hyun of drug use through social media, and in the process, her own charges were also dropped. Netizens who saw the post reported them, and the police began an investigation.

Choi Ji-ye, Ten Asia Reporter wisdomart@tenasia.co.kr translated by google