Georgetown University student and Korean pop artist Kim Sang-woo (COL ’19), popularly known as Roy Kim, is under investigation as a suspected member of a group chat where sexually explicit videos of women filmed without their consent were shared.

Kim was charged by the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency with circulating obscene materials in violation of information and telecommunications law April 4, after sharing sexually explicit photographs of women in a KakaoTalk mobile chat room, according to the Korea Herald.

After winning a  South Korean music competition show “Superstar K” in 2012, Kim rose to fame and released a song that topped the K-Pop Hot 100 chart for three weeks in 2013. Now 25, Kim first enrolled at Georgetown in 2013 and is expected to graduate this May. After he was formally charged, he left the United States for South Korea on Tuesday morning and was questioned by the Central Seoul Major Crimes Unit on Wednesday.

Kim intends to cooperate with the police investigation, he said in a Wednesday statement.

@ROYKIMMUSIC/INSTAGRAM | Korean pop artist Kim Sang-woo (COL ’19), popularly known as Roy Kim, is being investigated for allegedly circulating sexually explicit photos of women.

“First and foremost, I apologize to my fans and the public for causing concern,” Kim said to reporters. “I will faithfully face the investigation.”

The university has not taken any action or made public comments against Kim. Georgetown takes seriously all accusations of sexual misconduct, according to university spokesperson Matt Hill.

“Georgetown is committed to making sure that reported cases of sexual misconduct are investigated and responded to promptly and thoroughly,” Hill wrote in an email to The Hoya.

The charges against Kim come after fellow K-pop stars Jung Joon-Young and Seungri were charged for posting lewd photographs in one of Jung’s 23 group chats last month. Jung admitted to filming sexually explicit videos of women without their consent and posting them in a groupchat with Seungri. The scandal has received national attention in Korea because of the prominent celebrities implicated by it.

In addition to sharing videos taken of women without their consent, multiple prominent K-pop stars in a chat of at least nine men also discussed raping and drugging women as well. Since the allegations, Jung’s management company dropped him, and Seungri decided to leave music industry, according to CNN.

“I gave her sleeping pills and did her,” an as yet unspecified man with the last name Park who is a friend of Jung wrote in one of Jung’s chat group.

Dissatisfaction with the university’s response thus far has prompted responses from students calling on the university to take a stance. Finn Thompson (COL ’22) started a petition April 8 calling on University President John J. DeGioia to suspend Kim until he is formally charged and expel him if he is convicted. The petition has received 26 signatures as of time of press. Thompson declined a request for comment from The Hoya.

The phenomena and arrests of K-pop stars sparked a conversation in K-Pop fan Gina Kang’s (SFS ’22) third-level Korean class, where students have presented on the growing problem of illegal filming in Korea.

Georgetown should condemn Kim’s misconduct if he is found guilty, according to Kang.

“I think that the university does have a responsibility to take a position, even if it is against the student, and not condone this kind of behavior,” Kang said in an interview with The Hoya. “They cannot be facing any more special treatment or not be addressed just because they are celebrities or wealthier.”

The pattern of K-pop stars sharing obscene photographs highlights a broader problem of illegal nonconsensual filming of women. Every year there are on average approximately 6,000 incidences of “spy cam porn” reported to the Korean police, and 80 percent of these victims are women, according to BBC News.

Because each case involving sexual misconduct is distinct, it is unclear exactly what disciplinary action Kim could face at Georgetown, according to Grant Olson (COL ’19), director of the Student Advocacy Office of the Georgetown University Student Association.

“Each case and each person has mitigating and aggravating factors that go into how they are going to be seen when they are brought forward for any charge,” Olson said in an interview with The Hoya. “Most of the time it is a very individualized thing based on what the university thinks that have to do with a specific individual”

The Georgetown Code of Student Conduct does not explicitly outline consequences for distributing lewd photographs. However, the code does recognize sexual harassment and cyberbullying as significant infractions.

Though the Code of Student Conduct requires that students respect local D.C. laws, the consequences of breaking a law of a foreign country is not explicitly laid out within the code.

Although it is unknown whether Kim sent lewd photographs while at Georgetown, the location of the alleged crimes does not matter in university disciplinary processes as long as the student is affiliated with the university, Olson said.

“The second you sign to become a Georgetown student, the code of conduct follows you everywhere,” Olson said.

*An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Kim was suspected of sharing explicit videos. This article has also be updated to reflect Jung’s multiple group chats.



  1. I think those Korean articles were convoluted and that his article also puts him down without confirming the truth that came out from the police investigation – The police revealed today that he confirmed that he shared a photo from online that he did not take. This is against law in Korea(any obscene photo is cannot be shared, and porn sites are banned in Korea), but not in the United States first of all, but he is getting way too much publicity for this action.

    • Justice for Victims says:

      He shared ‘molka’ pornography, which is a hidden camera filming of people, typically in public restroom or changing room, without the victim’s knowledge or consent. It is sinister, illegal, and sadly an ongoing epidemic in Korea, hence why the public outrage.

      His lack of apology to the victims is disturbing, he only apologizes to the fans and the public, and that speaks volumes.

      • Nowhere does it say after police investigation that he shared a “molka” pornography. It only confirms that another celebrity Eddy Kim(graduate of Berkeley) and him shared an obscene image from the internet. The public outrage comes more from how he was in a group chat where JJY shared a video of a person without consent, which I’m not sure about why he did not speak up against or reported him.

        • Justice for Victims says:

          To put things into perspective:

          – This is the official statement from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (key word is in ‘illegally taken footage’): “We booked and notified Roy Kim to be investigated for charges of violating the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilisation and Information Protection, etc by spreading illegally taken footage”

          – Roy Kim has reportedly admit to shared the footage to the group chat, according to several news reports

          – Roy Kim is part of the group chats with the other serial rapists that objectified, drugged, raped, and filmed the victims. He did not raise any alarm to the the authorities, and choose to be a member of the group chats that have exist for years.

          – Roy Kim has not make any apology to any of the victims till this day

          • Not true. See the most recent comments below. I speak Korean too and can read

          • You should be aware that many Korean media have reported and written so many incorrect information so far to make this issue sensational in order to attract viewers and posts for their influence and business. If you referred to those misleading media and shared those info, you are also misleading your audience whether or not you intended.

            Seoul metropolitan police agency said that they didn’t think that Roy Kim took the one photo. According to them, Roy Kim also said that he shared the one photo from internet during the investigation. Therefore, what he shared with his friends in the chat was not illegally taken footage until the final prosecutor’s decision. You also should know that few cases of sharing couple of photos with s small group of friends has been convicted in Korea.

            I strongly believe that he deserves to be judged based on what he did, not by what those misleading media and anti-fans of him and the upper class and allied corrupted police who want to divert the public attention to the clubs, i. e. the core and breeding ground of sexual assault onto the misdemeanors of celebrities only.

            I’m sure you will find very strange, but typical behaviors of the police which leaked the info of celebrities one by one and tweaked them whenever they leak to media, if you take a close look at this case. According to a famous culture critic in Korea placed his column on this in a media which didn’t join the stimulating rally of putting the spotlight on celebrity stories, such an action is classic to hide big issues and turn attention to others. He mentioned your student and singer as the victim of such method.

    • It sounds like you are convoluted. According to the SK police, as of right now, Roy is already criminally charged with sharing photos taken without consent. He claimed that the photos were from internet, but the police seems to have enough proof to summon him. Let’s see how things go.

      • Not true. He was summoned because the police wasn’t sure if 1) the photos were taken by him or 2) the photos were simply from the internet. He stated that they were from the internet. The police have enough proof to summon him because sharing any obscene photo is illegal in Korea

      • I bet all of his friends do the same thing sharing porns, he probably got caught because he’s a celebrity.

        • FACT 1) ROY IS ALREADY CRIMINALLY CHARGED. Police already collected more than enough evidence from the investigation of other singers even before the summon of Roy.

          FACT 2) Only 3 out of all other singers(10+) in the same chatroom were criminally charged so far. Police confirmed those others didn’t share anything illegal(which means random internet P), found no suspicion, has no plan to summon others. ROY IS NOT TARGETED FOR NO REASON OR BEING THE ONLY CELEBRITY.

          FACT 3) Roy claimed that the tings he shred were from internet, but police confirmed that some photos and videos from other singers were illegally taken and shared without consent of women. It could be extremely hard, maybe impossible in some cases(lucky for who), and time consuming to find victims and crosscheck the evidence. But POLICE IS VERY SUSPICIOUS OF THE SOURCES OF OTHER PICS AND VIDEOS SHARED IN THE CHATROOM BECAUSE OF THEIR CONVERSATION.

          FACT 4) SOUTH KOREA POLICE IS NO DUMB. They are too busy to investigate/summon a person in another continent for no more than a misdemeanor.

          • Fact 3 is not an actual fact. That’s your speculation. Read the actual reports without a biased title to stir people up

    • It isn’t illegal to share drug rape and spy cam sex clip in America?Wow

    • ICareAboutWomen says:

      He’s getting publicity also for being in a chat where his celebrity buddies were sharing videos of them raping unconscious women spiked with drugs – and admitting in no uncertain terms that what they were doing was rape and could put them in prison. He was okay with what his friends were doing and passively condoned it – and we don’t actually know whether he took part in the same “activities” as well, but was smart enough to not leave any trace. In that chat, they treated women like objects, using offensive words to describe their bodies. If Roy Kim was fine with all that, then he is not a person who should be trusted to be around women, especially students. You have no idea what was in the photo he shared and if you think that it’s too early to condemn him, it doesn’t change that it’s too late to defend him. He chose his own path to be witness to rape and horrible objectification and unfortunately for him he got caught, so take your sympathy elsewhere.

  2. Expressing Concern says:

    Although I am not a student at the university, I feel the need to comment because some may be taking it too lightly. First, it is still in investigation so it cannot be said where that obscene photo was actually gotten from based on my understanding from reading various articles. The articles mostly are just stating that it was taken from the internet, what does that mean? Was it from a porn site? or was it from a place where photos were being shared without consent (this is a very extreme issue)? All possibilities should be taken into account. Second, it seems to be unknown what chatroom he was exactly in and I think that should be an important consideration as well. These chatrooms are reported to have have very disturbing things discussed within them and that should be looked into. I hope proper action is taken with due diligence.

  3. Kathie Doyle says:

    Folks, please remember that kindness matters. No women would ever sanction this, however, the pain of this felt by all parties will be excruciating. Let’s promote healing, restitution, justice and personal growth. None of us are without mistakes. Better to use those angry feelings toward producing change in Korea and elsewhere. The exact same thing is happening in the U.S. too. Men need to respect for women. They are not tissues.

  4. To Georgetown University:

    All I can say is this is so unfair for Roy. It’s not like human has been created with perfection. Everyone commit mistakes. I, myself work in a University, so I know the disciplinary actions a school gives to a student. However, to expel him from the University, while the graduation is only a month away, is too much. Roy has sacrificed a lot just to finish his studies and to reach his career as a singer. Throughout his youth, he devoted his time with studying just to get in to a good University. And now that he is about to graduate, please,don’t take away what he has worked hard for. Going back and forth from being a student to a singer was never easy to him. During his break in Georgetown, instead of going to a trip or vacation, he used the time to comeback to Korea and share us the music the had created. A music he came up with from all the experiences he had, being a singer, a student, a citizen, and a son. He has a lot ahead of him. So, please don’t take it away. He suffered a lot already from all the criticisms which he doesn’t even deserve. He lost so much weight. Please let him live. It’s not like he did drugs or such way too serious crimes that deserve him to receive all those hates. All he did was share ONE PHOTO from INTERNET. You all know that everyone can access Internet. If he is someone that can be considered a “trash”, then he wouldn’t have given his efforts to value to his education. He has been a solace to many people. I, myself, had suffered from depression. But because of him, his voice, his character, of how he is as a human, I doing great. He made me realized that there is more to life than embracing the sadness that I was feeling back then. He encouraged me, helped me picked myself together and go on with life. He has done great things, not only for me, but also to other people. I may not know him personally, but I know he’s not a bad person. Everyone deserves a second chance. Please don’t take away what he had worked hard for all these years.

    • but its rape videos and such without consent? is it still just a mistake when he knowingly share these? hes only caught because the guys he shared them with are getting caught. Do you think someone who knows about what he did is sorry only because he got caught?

      • It doesn’t say that it was a rape video that he shared. I am waiting for this to be confirmed as well, but the police has confirmed that it was from the internet. I do think that it was wrong for him to be in a group chat where there were disturbing images/videos/talks.

    • anti-chris brown says:

      you need to do research more on what is actually happening before defending him and saying it’s “just ONE PHOTO from the internet”. if you work at the university you should know how to read

      • You sure know how to read and research too. I’m not saying that sharing a lewd photo is right. What I’m saying is you all talk and accuse him and say that he raped, drugged someone and filmed videos illegally. He DID NOT do any of that. It is true that he was in a group chat with Jung Joon Young but it wasn’t the same group chat there the spy cam videos were uploaded. The police already confirmed it. All he did is share one freakin’ photo from Internet.

    • ICareAboutWomen says:

      He’s getting publicity also for being in a chat where his celebrity buddies were sharing videos of them raping unconscious women spiked with drugs – and admitting in no uncertain terms that what they were doing was rape and could put them in prison. He was okay with what his friends were doing and passively condoned it – and we don’t actually know whether he took part in the same “activities” as well, but was smart enough to not leave any trace. In that chat, they treated women like objects, using offensive words to describe their bodies. If Roy Kim was fine with all that, then he is not a person who should be trusted to be around women, especially students. You have no idea what was in the photo he shared and if you think that it’s too early to condemn him, it doesn’t change that it’s too late to defend him. He chose his own path to be witness to rape and horrible objectification and unfortunately for him he got caught, so take your sympathy elsewhere.

  5. So are you going to look into every male student that views and shares porn then, or conversations in group chats? Just how many male students would obtain a degree if you hold them to same standards as Mr. Kim? Also, Korea has different laws regarding porn. I think the University iS making a statement through this article. Seriously how many men in this country could throw the first rock? Porn is the problem, not people. It changes your brain and values. They are addicted for a reason. Unless he filmed someone without consent or raped someone, he is no Guiltier than most of his peers. I do not like that people view/share porn or talk about women like toys, but this is the world we live in. It is not going to change. Meanwhile, pedophiles and rapists govern everything…those are worse crimes in comparison. He paid tuition and did the work, he had better get the degree. No matter the outcome, this is all he will have since this situation has destroyed his career and family regardless of outcome and true facts. Korea is not like America where you get second chances.

    • they are rape videos of people filmed without consent

    • ICareAboutWomen says:

      Who are you to say that it’s not going to change? Who are you to decide that women should live their whole lives in a toxic world where they are dehumanized and objectified? That change is up to each and every one of us as individuals – we change that but choosing not to rape/objectify/stand by while abuse is happening. And that’s exactly what Roy Kim did. He was in a chat where actual footage of his friends raping drugged women was shared, along with disgusting comments on their bodies. If you want him to be allowed to get his degree, that’s one thing, but you are no expert on abuse and what should or shouldn’t change.

  6. David Yo above is nicely missing the point – this is not about some men sharing lewd photos. It is about some men for years having sex with various women, filming it without their knowledge, and sharing the videos in a chatroom. It is about how some of these women could actually have been drugged and raped. And that Roy Kim was one of the nine in that chatroom.

    Can you imagine a video of you having sex, with your face clearly visible, recorded and shared online among people who actually know you? They watching and commenting on how you climax? That there is no guarantee how many people have seen or will see this in the future? That is what these women have to live with.

    These men sacrificed others’ basic human dignity for their entertainment. I don’t think ‘giving Roy Kim too much publicity’ is really a concern here.

    • All I was saying was that what is said in the article is inaccurate and not confirmed. I do think that it was wrong that he was in that group chat allegedly and did not speak up.

  7. Very Disappointed says:

    This incident should not be taken lightly. The number of victims, just in the year of 2015, are known to be at least 10.(We basically can’t find out how many victims there are as the most recent cellphones of suspects were strategically removed after the suspects heard that the police had launched a probe.) Imagine yourself being secretly filmed while you’ve had sex or even while you’ve been drugged/raped. The videos were further shared by numerous people of whom victims have no idea who they are and even how many there are. The pain the victims have to face is just unimaginable as their most secretive parts of lives have been publicly exposed and ridiculed. Some people say that Roy Kim just posted a random lewd photo from the internet. This fact alone has not been confirmed by the police in the first place, but the fact that Roy Kim was aware of the sources of Jung’s videos doesn’t change. Kim, instead of criticizing Jung or reporting him to police, repeatedly made fun of the victims with his friends. He is, by this fact alone, already an accomplice.

  8. It sounds like you are convoluted. According to the SK police, as of right now, Roy is already criminally charged with sharing photos taken without consent. He claimed that the photos were from internet, but the police seems to have enough proof to summon him. Let’s see how things go.

  9. Majore Jason says:

    Must expelled from the university as he is not just involved with sharing sexual contents but also having the suspicion of raping female with drug. This seems really serious criminal charge a student of Catholic University can have. Aren’t you the one who kept silence when NAZI holocaust 6 millions Jews in Germany? Prove me wrong. Do something!.

  10. Hi, the writer of this story mistakenly referred to Jung Joon-Young as “Joon-Young” (and “Young” in one instance?) as though it is his surname. In Asia, the surname usually comes first. Therefore, he should have been referred to as Jung. A quick Google search would have revealed that.

  11. I think you guys needs to read the news from Korea first. Roy was only charged for sharing one photo he downloaded from Internet. He didn’t film any videos. He didn’t rape anyone just like what you are claiming. All he did was share one freaking photo anyone can download from Internet. It was confirmes by Seoul Metropolitan police. I’m sure that one of you are not that innocent too. You must have watched porn or what not since that’s any man’s nature.. I do not tolerate his actions being in that group chat but he didn’t took any illegal videos or rape anyone. Get your facts straight..

  12. Hi. I’m a Korean woman and I’m in no way defending perpetrators in this incident. However, I believe this article is factually misleading and the author should really correct them.

    1. Roy Kim is only confirmed to have shared a sexually explicit photo in a chatroom (he claims to be from online) — he did not share any video. There are allegedly multiple videos and multiple chatrooms that the main perpetrator Jung Joon-Young had. Some of the videos are alleged to be taken while the women were unconscious and getting raped. While Roy Kim was part of one chatroom that videos were shared, it is unclear which chatroom he was in and whether the “rape video” was shared. (re-reading the article, this is maybe what the comments are confused about not the author but the author could have been clearer in this also)

    2. Again, there were multiple chatrooms and the “rape conversation” happened in ONE of those chat rooms. It was not confirmed that Roy Kim was part of that chat room where the rape conversation happened. The article makes it sound like there was only one chatroom. No — we don’t even know whether Seungri and Roy Kim were in the same chatroom.

    • Exactly. I am not defending him but I do think that many articles that came out have headlines that are inaccurate and have not been confirmed. There’s many reddit sources claiming random information that none of the official South Korean Police have explicitly stated

  13. 여성의 동의없이 촬영된 성관계 몰래카메라를 수년간 단체채팅방 안에서 같이 즐겨본건 공범이다. 수많은 여성의 수치심과 불안함에 견주어보면 퇴학은 정당하다

  14. Under no circumstances should sharing a sexual picture/video be justified. What if he shared a naked picture of you? Would you still stand up for him? Roy Kim and Joon-Young built up their careers from the same Korean show and they went through everything together. No wonder they are best friends. The fact that they are so close and that he was in several group chats with Joon-Young are more than enough to assume that Roy is involved in even more sexual misconduct scandals than what is currently revealed in the public. And he used to go to different colleges to give lectures to students of his age on how he became so successful. But now I know he was just enjoying his superiority and having fun sharing sexual photos. The presumption of innocence is the legal principle that one is considered innocent unless proven guilty, but he is already guilty. Georgetown must conduct a COMPREHENSIVE investigation, and by this I mean not just talking with Roy Kim to see what happened. It may be hard because the incident happened in Korea, but the school should step up and get the most objective information as possible.

  15. Well. The one who shared photos from Internet is not Roy Kim. It was Eddie Kim. We don’t know what kind of pictures he shared in the group chat. Don’t spread wrong information.

    • It was confirmed by the Seoul Metropolitan Police that BOTH Roy Kim and Eddie shared a photo they got from Internet. I have been following the news since the Burning Sun incident. So I know what I am talking about.

    • Justice for Victims says:

      Eddie Kim took and shared the footage he obtained, while Roy Kim shared another footage.

    • Roy kim also sharded photo from Internet. You should have to know fact of this issue. Don’t spread wrong information.

  16. He is Korean sex master.

  17. Roy Kim is an accomplice who has seen Malka with his friends in the group chat room for years. Roy Kim admitted to spreading pornography at the police station. There was talk of drugs in the chat room, but Roy Kim refused to take the drug test at the police station and came home close to his lawyer. Giving a diploma to a sex offender is a breach of school reputation.

  18. Georgetown is now famous in Asia. Not many knew the university, but now they all know.

  19. The police confirmed that Roy Kim shared a photo downloaded from an online source. Rumors that he had allegedly shared ‘sexually explicit vidios of women filmed without their consent’ turned out to be fake. I want people to know the truth.

  20. There are several petiions for helping Roy Kim to grad this May at Georgetown University and
    If you sing the situation is unfair to Roy, please, sign it.

    • An outsider from the internetcan sign this, so it is not official! And the numbers are low. Make the students themself sing, fans sings should not be accepted.

  21. I really think like you. I agree with you one hundred percent. Just watching without feeling guilty and notifying the police is criminal as well.

  22. I think people are really missing the seriousness of all this. By the way, Jung Joon-Young and others (not including Roy Kim) are now being investigated for rape of at least 5-6 women using drugs.

    That Roy Kim was only charged with one transfer of a pornographic material is rather not the point here.

    Roy Kim took part in the online chat room where they shared sex videos filmed without consent and horribly debased the victims through the texts. That is undeniable at this point – that is why Roy Kim was investigated in the first place.

    Given that, it is highly likely that Roy Kim was aware of what was going on, and that he took part in the conversation and watched at least some, if not most, of the videos. Unfortunately, none of these makes a criminal case against according to the current Korean law. Even sharing a video taken without consent cannot be charged any differently from sharing a random American porn, because the perpetrator can always deny the knowledge. Please see titled “Why Roy Kim’s charges can only be light”

    Roy Kim likely knew about the victimization of the women, condoned it, even enjoyed the results, and willingly took part in degrading the women through the chats. None of these may be illegal in Korea, but one cannot turn a blind eye repeating over and over “But still just ONE charge … ” when the moral corruption is glaring.

    In the victims’ point of view, it would truly be an injustice for Roy Kim to be bestowed with the honor and privilege of being a Georgetown graduate, when he took part in ruining their lives.

  23. He was already criminal

  24. Tip of Iceberg says:

    He’s confessed to actually filming and distributing these films according to Newsweek ( “I admit to having committed all the wrongs that have been reported…I filmed women without their consent, spread (the films) in chat rooms. I did these activities without feeling any guilt. Throughout the rest of my life, I will repent on my immoral and illegal acts that constitute crimes.”

    My bro actually knew him when he attended the Asheville school, and they used the same college essay consulting firm to help them get in (my brother got into a number of ivies and ended up going to Penn but Roy could not get into any ivies so chose Georgetown since it is more well known in Korea). He’s not surprised at all as he’s hung out w/ that crowd and seen and heard similar things.

    Filming is perverse but not so bad as when he was bragging about drugging girls then sleeping w/ them and being involved with circle that needs an incineration team to get rid of evidence after:

    This is only tip of iceberg if you really know Korean society.

    Does not matter though. The other singers have ruined lives but Roy’s dad runs a well known conglomerate that Roy will take over so he will be fine, and Georgetown will get their $$$. It’s sad but reality here.

    • You should know, that: “I admit to having committed all the wrongs that have been reported…I filmed women…” is Jung Joon Youngs’ words. You can see it in the article, that you red with deep attantion in the Newsweek. Well. I don’t know who is your brother, I prefer listen oficial Police statment. So. Shut up )

    • can you read the article first. The person who admitted to filming without consent is another guy. Not roy kim

  25. Women drugged and held against their will. Rape. Torture. This club and all its members should be tried and held accountable.

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