Prosecutors request life sentence for man indicted for distributing of pornography involving minors

Posted on : 2020-09-18 17:54 KST Modified on : 2020-09-18 17:54 KST
Suspect said to have produced over 230 videos featuring teens throughout country
Jeju District Prosecutors’ Office
Jeju District Prosecutors’ Office

Prosecutors are requesting a life prison sentence for a man arrested and indicted on charges of prostitution and sexual assault for traveling around South Korea producing and distributing sexually exploitive videos involving teenagers.

The prosecutors’ request for a life sentence came during a final hearing on Sept. 17 for the 30-year-old defendant, identified by the initial “A,” under judge Hon. Jang Chan-su of the 2nd criminal division of Jeju District Court. A was arrested and indicted on charges including violation of the Act on the Protection of Children and Youth Against Sex Offenses with the production and distribution of obscene materials. Prosecutors also requested that A be fitted with a location tracking device for a period of 30 years and be restricted for 10 years from employment at any establishment related to children, adolescents, and disabled persons.

A was indicted on charges of sexual assault and prostitution after traveling throughout South Korea between September 2019 and the time of his arrest on May 11 and approaching 11 different persons aged 13 to 17 to produce 231 sexually exploitive materials, including 195 photographs and 36 videos. In their investigation, police and prosecutors confirmed that A had approached an indeterminate number of young people through social media such as Kakao Talk and Facebook, and found no instances of the videos in question being sold or redistributed online or elsewhere.

“The crimes committed by [A] are similar to those in the ‘Nth Room’ case that recently emerged as a societal issue,” prosecutors explained in their sentencing request.

“The evidence suggests that [K] pursued his criminal acts in a more secretive manner after news that the persons involved in the Nth Room incident had been arrested. The victims will have to live with the scars for a lifetime, and the punishment should be correspondingly strict,” they added.

The defense argued that A has “acknowledged and expressed remorse for his crimes.”

“He has no prior record, he has acknowledged all of the facts, the period over which the crimes were committed was brief, he has actively cooperated since the start of the investigation, and unlike the Nth Room operators, he did not lure victims,” they said.

“He also did not earn any economic gains from the videos. Given the judgment of ‘moderate’ in the assessment of recidivism risk, we ask the court for leniency,” they continued.

In his final statement, K said that he “spend[s] a lot of time reflecting on and regretting what I’ve done.”

“I cannot offer any justification. I can only say that I’m sorry,” he said, his head lowered. “I sincerely apologize to the people who were hurt because of me. I will spend the rest of my life repenting.”

Sentencing in K’s trial is scheduled to take place on the morning of Oct. 15.

By Huh Ho-joon, Jeju correspondent

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