Lee Young-ha (25), a pitcher for the Doosan Bears in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), is currently classified as an ‘inactive player’ by the KBO.
Doosan also classifies him as an ‘unsigned pending player’.
Judge Jeong Geum-young of the Seoul West District Court Criminal Division 4 set 31 May as the sentencing date for Lee, who was charged with special assault and other offences.
The outcome of the trial will determine whether Lee will be reinstated as an active player.
Lee was dropped from the first team roster on 21 August last year and ended the 2022 season without taking the mound once.스포츠토토
That’s when A, a junior on the baseball team at Sunlin Internet High School, reported Lee to the sports ethics centre, which then referred the matter to the police for investigation and prosecution.
The first hearing was held on 21 September last year, and Lee attended a total of six hearings.
During the defence and closing arguments on the 3rd, Lee said, “I am reflecting on what I need to reflect on. However, I can say that I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said, adding, “I tried to be sincere in the trial. I wasn’t a good senior, but I didn’t do anything bad enough to stand in court, so please think about that.”
Lee Young-ha’s legal representative, lawyer Kim Sun-woong, also said, “I think the prosecution’s prosecution itself was due to the statute of limitations. The prosecution didn’t even investigate the defendant.” “There are many things (the victim’s claims) that are contrary to the facts. “There was some bad behaviour, such as calling the victim by name and having her respond with a nickname, but it was not assault, coercion, or intimidation. It was common practice among high school baseball players. The defendant is innocent,” he said in his closing arguments.
Lawyer Kim Sun-woong also argued that Lee was in a situation where he could not play baseball for about nine months.
However, the prosecution asked for two years in prison.
During the hearing, the prosecution said, “Lee Young-ha committed special assault by slapping the victim’s shoulder and making her sing songs that made her feel humiliated. During the training camp, he visited the victim’s room and extorted ramen noodles, and called his juniors to Lee’s room to commit harsh acts,” the prosecution alleged.
Lee Young-ha’s camp countered that “making her sing” was a common practice at the time, and denied all other allegations.
Lee also provided evidence that he had been selected for the youth national team on 19 August 2015, the date of the specific assault described by the victim, and had already left the area by the time of the alleged training camp at a different location and the alleged forcing of him to do laundry in his own room.
As for the alleged extortion and harsh behaviour during the Sunlin Netball team’s training camp in Taiwan in February 2015, he claimed that “we had a meeting to convey the requirements of the coaching staff, but there was no extortion or harsh behaviour”.
Lee’s classmate Kim Dae-hyun (LG Twins), who was tried while in the military following a report from the same victim, was acquitted. Dae-hyun is playing a full season.
Although Lee faces more charges than Kim, Lee believes that Kim’s acquittal will have a positive impact on Lee.
Lee is currently training privately at Icheon Bears Park. If he is acquitted, he could sign with Doosan and prepare to return to the mound.