Prosecutors seek prison time for 79-year-old 'Squid Game' actor O Yeong-su

Actor O Yeong-su heads to the Seongnam Branch of Suwon District Court in Gyeonggi on Friday. [YONHAP]

Prosecutors requested a one-year prison sentence against “Squid Game” actor O Yeong-su for sexual assault on Friday.

The actor, 79, was indicted in November 2022 when a then-member of a theater troupe, which O was also in, alleged that O sexually assaulted her in September 2017. The alleged victim claimed that O nonconsensually groped and kissed her while the two were outside.

O wholly denied the sexual assault charges against him since his first trial, which was held in February last year.

The prosecutors requested the sentence along with an employment restriction and disclosure of his personal information to a court during the final trial held Friday.

“The defendant expressed his desire for youth in an inappropriate way saying ‘I see you as a woman’ to the victim while drinking with the victim in 2017,” the prosecutors said. “He avoided his responsibility, saying the victim was ‘like a daughter [to him]’ though the victim asked for an apology, making the victim feel frustrated.”

The prosecutors also requested to heavily punish the defendant as he showed no sign of remorse during the investigation and trial procedure.

“It’s so painful and hard to stand in this court at this age like this,” O said during his final statement. “It is miserable that the last chapter of my life to end in such a way, making my whole life fall apart.”

“There is scarce evidence regarding the case, except for the victim’s testimony and evidence deriving from it,” O’s attorney said, claiming that O is innocent. “It is questionable whether it was possible for the defendant to do such an act based on the place, situation and time [given by the alleged victim].

The ruling trial will be held on March 15.

The alleged victim reportedly filed a complaint with the police against O in December 2021, but the case closed in April last year without any charges brought against O.

O, whose real name is Oh Se-kang, majored in theater at Dongguk University and debuted as an actor in 1963. The actor debuted on the silver screen in the 1965 “The Seashore Village” and was also in director Kim Ki-duk’s “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring” (2003). He was largely known for his theater work until he was cast as player No. 1, also known as Oh Il-nam, in “Squid Game.”