Early on Wednesday morning, people’s eyes were all on a criminal suspect who was accused of blackmailing some 70 women, including minors, into creating illegal sexual videos.
Police officers escorted the 24-year-old man named Cho Joo-bin to the prosecutor’s office, which was televised across the country to draw wide attention.
Watchers were stunned as it was the first time that a sex crime suspect was put in a press photo line with his face disclosed. Earlier this week, the police decided to make public his identity.
And officials of sportswear brand FILA were also surprised to watch the scene, but due to a different reason: Cho was wearing a shirt with the company’s name.
FILA instantly asked journalists to block its name on his pictures, but already too many video clips and articles showed him together with a big-sized FILA logo.
“We feel regret and embarrassment as we have had nicely communicated with our main customers of teenagers,” FILA said in a statement.
Cho is suspected of having created and shared hideous videos through members-only chat rooms on Telegram, a messaging service, since late 2018.
In particular, the case has generated nationwide anger because 16 minors are included in the victims. They were lured with money online and then exploited sexually, according to the police.
This is not the first time that FILA faces concerns about a negative impact because of clothes worn by a sex crime suspect.
When actor Kang Ji-hwan got a suspended prison sentence last December, he also wore a padded jumper with a FILA logo.
Earlier last July, Kang was indicted on charges of sexually assaulting two female staffers at his home.
FILA was originally established in Italy in the early 20th century. In 2007, its South Korea division FILA Korea purchased the brand.
This article is provided by UPI News Korea. _ ED.