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 girls, 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 below 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 faculty after his arrest final 12 months, was one of the vital infamous of the a whole lot 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 decide, Cho Soon-pyo, stated of Mr. Moon in his ruling on Thursday. The trial came about in a district courtroom within the metropolis of Andong in central South Korea.
Mr. Moon was indicted in June on costs of forcing 21 younger girls, together with minors, into making sexually express movies between 2017 and early final 12 months.
He approached younger girls wanting for high-paying jobs by social media platforms, then lured them into making sexually express movies, promising massive payouts, prosecutors stated. He additionally hacked into the web accounts of girls who uploaded sexually express content material, pretending to be a police officer investigating pornography.
Once he acquired maintain of the pictures and private knowledge, 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 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, identified in South Korea as “the Nth Room Case,” precipitated outrage over the merciless exploitation of the younger girls. Women’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 of mild punishments.
On Thursday, exterior the Andong courthouse, advocates held a rally demanding the utmost punishment for Mr. Moon.
In current years, the South Korean police started cracking down on sexually express 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 companies like Telegram.
The police stated they’d bother monitoring down prospects of the web chat rooms as a result of they typically used cryptocurrency funds to keep away from being caught.