The Pittsburgh Pirates’ beleaguered infielder Jung-Ho Kang was sentenced to 8 month suspended prison sentence; instead will serve 2 years probation for a December drunk driving accident
Pittsburgh Pirates 3B Jung Ho Kang, clad in a dark suit, received his sentence before a judge in Seoul Central District Court in Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea today after admitting during a February 22 hearing to the DUI charge against him. According to Yonhap News, prosecutors were seeking a 15 million Korean won (just over $13,000 US) fine.
The charges stemmed from a December 2016 car accident in which Kang failed to negotiate a tight turn in his BMW, banking the sports car onto a curb, taking out several traffic warning devices and then narrowly missing a number of parked cars before coming to a stop. According to reports from Korean news agencies, Kang initially told investigators he was a passenger in the vehicle.
No word yet on when he can leave the country.
This was his third DUI charge in Korea since 2009.
Timeframe for Return TBD
Due to the ongoing case, Kang was unable to leave the country, where he spent the off-season, to join the Pittsburgh Pirates as they began Spring Training in mid-February. Now that he’s received his sentence, the next steps for his return require him to satisfy the guidelines set forth in his sentencing and then to apply for and obtain a Visa to enter the US.
Throughout the process, the Pirates monitored his situation closely and offered continuous support for Kang.
“We will continue to do whatever we can to assist he and his representatives in their efforts to resolve all necessary matters so that Jung Ho will be able to travel to the United States to prepare for and to play in the 2017 season, but his reporting date remains undetermined,” said Pirates’ President Frank Coonelly in a February 14 statement.
Prior to this sentencing, Kang agreed to enter an MLB-approved treatment program. The timeframe for his entering said program, as well as whether he will face additional punishment from MLB or the Pirates in the form of a fine and/or suspension remain to be determined.
Additional Issue Still Outstanding
Unfortunately for Kang, this is not the only trouble he found himself in in 2016. In July, sexual assault allegations were leveled against the third baseman following a June incident in a Chicago hotel.
No charges have been filed related to the case and according to the most recent reports, Chicago police investigating the allegations indicate that Kang’s accuser has been non-responsive to police requests for additional information related to the case.
MLB and the Pirates could also discipline Kang for his involvement in this situation under the league’s domestic violence policy. They are awaiting results from the police investigation before making any decisions on that matter.