The South Korean leader of an online sexual blackmail ring has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for blackmailing women, including minors, into filming sexually explicit videos and selling them to others.
Cho Joo-bin, 24, was found guilty of what authorities termed as ‘virtual enslavement’, where he blackmailed at least 74 women, including 16 teenagers. Joo-bin forced them to send degrading and violent sexual imagery of themselves between May 2019 and February 2020.
He hosted these chatrooms in an encrypted messaging app Telegram and sent the videos to people who paid to watch them. Officials found that at least 10,000 people used the chat rooms and some of them paid as much as $1,200 for access.
Joo-bin has been convicted of violating child protection laws by the Seoul Central District Court. He has been indicted of 15 charges of producing and distributing illegal sexual visual material, forced sexual abuse, rape, sexual harassment among others.
President Moon Jae-in has called for a thorough investigation into the case that has sparked a national outcry. President Jae-in has also called for stern punishment for abusive chatroom operators.
A judge also ruled Joo-bin to be guilty of instructing a third party to rape a minor on camera.