Pop-idol of the 1990s Lee Jae-won of H.O.T was arrested on rape charges but was released when the victim withdrew her suit in an out-of-court settlement.
Lee expressed regret and said he would suspend performances indefinitely.
The Seoul Eastern District Court last Friday issued an arrest warrant for Lee, who was accused of having sexual intercourse without consent with a would-be star at a Seoul motel on Dec.10. Lee alleged that the action was based on mutual understanding, but the woman claimed she was unconscious from alcohol consumption and unable to refuse. Korean law distinguishes forced sex acts from sex without consent.
Lee was arrested but three hours later the woman changed her mind and made a settlement. The judge also agreed to release Lee around 11 p.m.
Lee Sunday said he would make an official statement about what happened and about his future soon. The singer said he is sorry for letting people down via his Web site
Lee was supposed to appear on cable TV show as a host Tuesday. He may not be able to release his new album next year.
Lee debuted as the youngest member of H.O.T., which is said to have opened a new era of boy bands here. After the sensational group split in 2001, he remained in showbiz by forming another band, JTL, and going solo, seeking success in Japan and China. (Bae Ji-sook, Staff Reporter, The Korea Times)