South Korean Man Will get 34 Years for Operating Sexual Exploitation Chat Room

SEOUL — A South Korean man was sentenced to 34 years in jail on Thursday as a part of the nation’s crackdown on an notorious community of on-line chat rooms that lured younger ladies, together with minors, with guarantees of high-paying jobs earlier than forcing them into pornography.

The person, Moon Hyeong-wook, opened one of many first such websites in 2015, prosecutors mentioned. Mr. Moon, 25, operated a clandestine members-only chat room underneath the nickname “GodGod” on the Telegram messenger app, providing greater than 3,700 clips of illicit pornography, they mentioned.

Mr. Moon, an structure main who was expelled from his school after his arrest final yr, was probably the most infamous of the lots of of individuals the police have arrested in the middle of their investigation. One other chat room operator, a person named Cho Joo-bin, was sentenced in November to 40 years in jail.

“The accused inflicted irreparable harm on his victims via his anti-society crime that undermined human dignity,” the presiding choose, Cho Quickly-pyo,​ mentioned of Mr. Moon in his ruling on Thursday.​ The trial passed off in a district court docket within the metropolis of Andong in central South Korea​.

Mr. Moon was indicted in June on fees​ of forcing 21 younger ladies, together with minors, into ​making ​sexually express movies between 2017 and early final yr.​

He ​approached younger ladies in search of high-paying jobs via social media platforms​, then lured them into making sexually express movies, promising huge payouts​, prosecutors mentioned​.​ He additionally hacked into the web accounts of girls who uploaded sexually express content material, pretending to be a police officer investigating pornography.

​As soon as he acquired maintain of the pictures and private information, he used them to blackmail the ladies, threatening to ship the clips to their mother and father except the victims equipped extra footage, prosecutors mentioned.

Prosecutors demanded a life sentence for Mr. Moon.

Final December, the police mentioned​ they’d investigated 3,500 suspects, most of them males of their 20s or youngsters, as a part of their investigation of the web chat rooms that served as avenues for sexual exploitation and pornographic distribution​. They arrested 245 of them.

The police additionally recognized 1,100 victims.

The ​scandal, recognized in South Korea as “the Nth Room Case,” precipitated outrage over the merciless exploitation of the younger ladies​. Ladies’s rights teams picketed courthouses the place chat room operators had been on trial, accusing judges of condoning intercourse crimes by handing down what they thought-about gentle punishments.

On Thursday, exterior the Andong courthouse, advocates held a rally demanding the utmost punishment for Mr. Moon.

Lately, the South Korean police started cracking down on sexually express file-sharing web sites as a part of worldwide efforts to combat youngster pornography. As smartphones proliferated, ​they quickly realized that a lot of the unlawful commerce was migrating to on-line chat rooms on messaging providers like Telegram.

The police mentioned they’d bother monitoring down prospects of the web chat rooms as a result of they usually used cryptocurrency funds to keep away from being caught.

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