Sex 'devil' locked up for 40 years

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 27 Nov 2020

The operator of an online chat room in South Korea was sentenced yesterday to 40 years in prison for blackmailing many women and minors into filming sexually explicit video and selling clips.

Cho Ju Bin, 24, was convicted in Seoul Central District Court of blackmail and breaking laws meant to protect minors.

He had "used various methods to lure and blackmail a large number of victims into making sexually abusive content and distributed them to many people,'' court official Kim Yong Chan said.

"He also disclosed the identities of many victims, inflicting irreparable damage.''

Cho admitted cheating victims into making the videos but said he did not blackmail them, forcing some victims to appear in court.

Kim said the court decided to isolate Cho from society for a prolonged period in consideration of his attitude and "the evil influence" of his crimes.

Cho and prosecutors, who wanted a life sentence, have one week to appeal.

Cho and five accomplices were detained in March for producing sexually abusive video of 74 women, 16 of them minors, and distributing them on the Telegram messaging app. Users had paid in cryptocurrency to watch them in 2019 and this year.

The five accomplices, one just 16, were sentenced to 15 years behind bars.

When he was hauled before the media in March, Cho said: "Thank you for stopping the life of a devil. [I] couldn't stop.''

South Korea has been struggling with digital sex crimes, which include the spread of intimate photos and videos taken by smartphones or tiny spy cameras in public facilities.

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