Moon Hyeong-wook, 25, has been accused of luring young women by promising them well-paying jobs and then forcing them to become pornographic

SEOUL – A South Korean man was sentenced to 34 years in prison on Thursday as part of the country’s crackdown on an infamous online chat room network that was attracting young women, including minors, with promises of high paying jobs before forcing them into pornography

The man, Moon Hyeong-wook, opened one of the first such sites in 2015, prosecutors say Mr. Moon, 25, operated a members-only underground chat room under the nickname “GodGod” on the Telegram messaging app, offering more than 3,700 clips of illicit pornography, they said.

Mister Moon, an architectural major who was kicked out of his college after his arrest last year, was one of hundreds of the most notorious people police arrested in their investigation Another chatroom operator, a man named Cho Joo-bin, was sentenced to 40 years in prison last November

“The accused inflicted irreparable damage on his victims as a result of his anti-society crime which violated human dignity,” presiding judge Cho Soon-pyo said of Mr. Moon in ruling on Thursday The trial was held in a district court in central South Korea’s Andong city

Mr. Moon was indicted in June for forcing 21 young women, including minors, to make sexually explicit videos between 2017 and early last year

He approached young women looking for high paying jobs through social media platforms, then tricked them into making sexually explicit videos, promising big payouts, prosecutors said. He also hacked into the accounts by line of women who uploaded sexually explicit content, posing as a police officer investigating pornography

Once he got his hands on the footage and personal data, he used it to blackmail the women, threatening to send the clips to their parents unless the victims provided more footage. , prosecutors said

Last December, police said they investigated 3,500 suspects, mostly men in their twenties or teenagers, as part of their investigation into online chat rooms that were used as a means of exploitation sexual and pornographic dissemination They arrested 245

The scandal, known in South Korea as the “Nth Room Affair”, sparked outrage over the cruel exploitation of young women courthouses where chat room operators were tried, accusing judges of forgiving sex crimes by inflicting what they saw as light punishments

On Thursday, outside the Andong courthouse, lawyers staged a rally demanding the maximum sentence for Mr. Moon

In recent years, South Korean police have started cracking down on sexually explicit file-sharing websites as part of international efforts to fight child pornography As smartphones proliferated, they soon realized that much of the illegal commerce was migrating to online chat rooms on messaging services like Telegram.

Police said they have difficulty locating customers in online chat rooms as they often use cryptocurrency payments to avoid getting caught

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World News – FI – South Korean man turns 34 for running chat room on sexual exploitation

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/world/asia/korea-sex-crime-chat-rooms.html