The South Korean chat room operator gets 40 years for blackmail

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – A South Korean online chat room operator was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday on charges of blackmailing dozens of women, including minors, into filming sexually explicit videos and selling them to others.

The Seoul Central District Court has convicted 24-year-old Cho Ju-bin of violating laws protecting minors and organizing a criminal ring, the court spokesman Kim Yong Chan said.

According to Kim, Cho decided that Cho “lured and blackmailed most of the victims into sexually abusive content in various ways and distributed it to many people,” Kim says.

Cho claimed he only cheated on the victims in making such videos, but did not blackmail or coerce them, so some of the victims were testified in court.

According to Kim, the court decided to isolate Cho from society for a longer period of time, given his attitude and the seriousness of his crime.

Cho and the prosecutors who applied for life imprisonment have one week to appeal.

Pros in June officially arrested or indicted Cho and seven of his associates, who allegedly made 74 victims, including 16 sexually abusive videos of minors, and distributed them in the Telegram messaging app, where users paid in cryptocurrency to watch them 2019-2020 -in.

Prosecutors’ statements called Cho’s group a “criminal ring” of 38 members. On Thursday, Seoul court sentenced Cho’s five associates, one to a 16-year, 15-year prison sentence.

When he was shown to the media after his first arrest at police in March, Cho said, “Thank you for stopping a devil’s life (I couldn’t stop him.”

Cho’s case has sparked intense public outrage and soul-seeking in South Korea over a culture that some experts say is too lenient with sexual violence and continues to plague victims. President Moon Jae-in has previously called for a thorough investigation and severe punishment against operators and users of such chat rooms.

In recent years, South Korea has struggled to deal with crimes characterized by the government’s digital sex crimes, which include the spread of intimate photos and videos taken by smartphones or tiny spy cameras hidden in public spaces and buildings in addition to abusive chat rooms. an issue that provoked huge protests in 2018.