The leader of a notorious online sex abuse group in South Korea was earlier today sent to prison and now faces 40 years.
Cho Ju-bin, a 25-year-old college graduate, ran a group that blackmailed women and girls into filming sexual content. They would then post this content in pay-to-view chat-rooms on messaging app Telegram.
Cho was in charge of the group from May 2019 to February 2020 and he blackmailed 74 people, 16 of whom were underage.
The court said that considering the seriousness of his crimes, the number of victims and the damage caused, Cho would have to be isolated from society for a long time. The 40-year verdict was short of the life imprisonment sought by prosecutors. Both they and Cho have one week to appeal.
‘’The accused has widely distributed sexually abusive content that he created luring and threatening many victims,’’ the Seoul Central District Court was quoted by media. The court added that the accused had caused ‘’irreparable harm.’’
Five of Cho’s friends with whom he ran the criminal organization received jail terms ranging from seven to fifteen years. The case has reignited a national conversation over the seriousness with which digital sex crimes are taken in South Korea.
In 2019, the government began running a 24-hour watchdog team to catch illegally shared material. In one high-profile case, K-pop star Jung Joon-young was arrested for distributing sex videos without the consent of his partners. He is currently serving a five-year jail term.
It should be remembered that in 2018, thousands of women demonstrated in Seoul in 2018, demanding stronger government action on the same issue.
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