South Korean Man Gets 34 Years for Running 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 man, Moon Hyeong-wook, opened one of many first such websites in 2015, prosecutors stated. 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 stated.

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

“The accused inflicted irreparable damage on his victims through his anti-society crime that undermined human dignity,” the presiding choose, Cho Soon-pyo,​ stated of Mr. Moon in his ruling on Thursday.​ The trial happened in a district courtroom 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 specific movies between 2017 and early final yr.​

He ​approached younger ladies wanting for high-paying jobs by social media platforms​, then lured them into making sexually specific movies, promising large payouts​, prosecutors stated​.​ He additionally hacked into the net accounts of ladies who uploaded sexually specific content material, pretending to be a police officer investigating pornography.

​Once he obtained maintain of the photographs and private information, he used them to blackmail the ladies, threatening to ship the clips to their mother and father except the victims provided extra footage, prosecutors stated.

Prosecutors demanded a life sentence for Mr. Moon.

Last December, the police stated​ that they had investigated 3,500 suspects, most of them males of their 20s or youngsters, as a part of their investigation of the net 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,” brought about outrage over the merciless exploitation of the younger ladies​. Women’s rights teams picketed courthouses the place chat room operators have been on trial, accusing judges of condoning intercourse crimes by handing down what they thought-about mild punishments.

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

In latest years, the South Korean police started cracking down on sexually specific file-sharing web sites as a part of worldwide efforts to struggle 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 stated that they had bother monitoring down prospects of the net chat rooms as a result of they typically used cryptocurrency funds to keep away from being caught.

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