Infamous Cult Leader Jeong Myeong Seok Gets Sentenced To Prison For Sexual Crimes

This will be his second time in jail for sexual crimes.

Jeong Myeong Seok, the founder of the infamous Christian religious cult JMS (Jesus Morning Start, alternatively known as the Providence Church), was sentenced by a court to prison for sexual assault.

Jeong Myeong Seok | myprovidencehub.com

In 2018, Jeong was released after serving ten years in prison for sexually abusing and assaulting four of his female followers numerous times from 2001 to 2006. But immediately after his release, the man went back to committing sexual crimes within his church. One of his new victims, Maple Yip, blew the whistle on Jeong’s crimes and laid it out in more detail in the Netflix docu-series, In The Name Of God: A Holy Betrayal.

After she reported her assault, Jeong came under investigation. In April, the Daejeon District Prosecutor’s Office added additional charges for molesting another South Korean female follower in August 2018 at the sect’s compound and making false statements by denying the allegations brought by the two foreign victims. Jeong abused and assaulted the three victims 23 times between February 2018 through September 2021.

Initially, the prosecution demanded 30 years in prison for the cult leader, stating that his previous prison sentence did not affect his criminal tendencies whatsoever. They added that the JMS church exploited the faith of the victims, subjecting them to extreme trauma.

An anonymous victim testifying about Jeong’s abuse in the Netflix documentary | Netflix

On December 22, KST, the 12th Criminal Division of the Daejeon District Court handed down a 23-year prison sentence to Jeong Myeong Seok for his abuse and assault of his three female followers. In addition, he was ordered to disclose and notify the public about his personal information and restrict employment at institutions related to children, youth, and people with disabilities for ten years after his release. He will also wear an ankle tracker for the 15 years following his release.

Though the possibility of his side appealing the decision remains open, it is notable that an additional 18 victims have come forward to report Jeong’s sexual assault. The cases are still under investigation.

The Daejeon District Court | Wikimedia Commons
Source: Chosun Ilbo