Nth Room case: How many years for 'digital sex crime' in Korea? [VIDEO]
Video by Cho You-bin
More than 2 million people have signed an online petition earlier this year, demanding the government unveil the identity of sex predators who ran a group chat room sharing photos and videos of violent sex acts, involving underaged victims, and impose the harshest possible punishment on them.
This is called the 'Nth Room case' where perpetrators used private information – sometimes collected illegally from local government offices – to blackmail many women and children into performing sexually explicit acts on camera, with thousands of users paying cryptocurrency to watch.
Underage girls were degraded, forced to bark like dogs or lie naked on the floor of a public men's toilet. "Let's rape" was a greeting word among users, identical to "hello".This perverted and sadistic abuse victims had gone through thrown the entire nation in shock.
Another fact that shocked the public: the perpetrators were young men in their late teens and early 20s.
In May, perpetrators were arrested, including a 24-year-old man nicknamed 'god god(Moon Hyung-wook)' who was the first to start telegram channels of such kind.
On Oct. 13, prosecutors sought a life sentence for Moon.
According to prosecutors, 21 children and minors were victimized by Moon and were forced to film themselves on 1,275 occasions in total and sent the videos to him. Moon is also suspected of posting over 3,700 sexually-exploitative videos on the "Nth Room" chat group between February of 2019 and January this year.
Currently, no sentencing guidelines exist for digital sex crimes in Korea which led to lenient punishment toward victims.
In 2018, Son Jung-woo, the operator of one of the world's largest child porn site, which even involved newborn infants, received a 18-month sentence. He is now released from prison.
The public is now expecting a more sensible jail term for Moon.
However, as accomplices to the crime have recently been sentenced to only a year in prison, some remain skeptical about whether Moon would be sentenced to life.
Currently, the identities of some 280 accomplices to the 'Nth Room' case are not revealed yet. Petitions are continuing to this day, with netizens strongly urging the government to have them pay the price for what they have done.