South Korea investigates chatroom sex abuse allegations

Posted Wednesday, 25 March 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean prosecutors on Wednesday began reviewing whether to formally charge a man arrested last week on allegations that he operated secret chatrooms where he posted sexually abusive videos of blackmailed women in return for cryptocurrency payments. The allegations have triggered intense public uproar and soul-searching over a culture that critics say is lenient about sexual violence and continuously fails the victims, prompting President Moon Jae-in to call for thorough investigation and stern punishment for operators of such chatrooms and their users. Wearing a neck brace and handcuffed to his waist, the suspect, Cho Ju-bin, 24, was paraded before journalists at the Jongno Police Station in Seoul before officers drove him to the prosecutors’ office. Police officers created a perimeter around the station’s gate to block off angry protesters, who waved signs that read “From chatroom to prison” and “Punish all users” and yelled “Give him the highest penalty!” “Thank you for stopping the life of a devil (I) couldn’t stop,” Cho said in front of a barrage of camera flashes. He refused to answer questions about the accusations against him but offered apologies to a former mayor of Gwangju City, the president of local broadcaster JTBC and a freelance journalist currently on trial for allegedly attempting to blackmail the JTBC president for reasons that weren’t immediately clear. Police said they currently don’t have any knowledge linking the three men with the chatrooms. Before sending Cho’s case to prosecutors, police said they had arrested 18 people since September while investigating private chatrooms on the Telegram messaging app, where users paid in cryptocurrency to view videos of a sexual nature that involved dozens of allegedly blackmailed women and girls. Under the nickname “Doctor,” Cho allegedly operated one of the biggest chatrooms, with around 10,000 users, and police are investigating whether he operated others. He is suspected of using private information he secured from workers at local government offices to blackmail victims lured through fake job ads. Police are chasing other chatroom operators, including a Telegram user who used the nickname “GodGod.” Around 5 million people have signed online petitions filed to Moon's presidential office calling for the disclosure of personal information of all chatroom operators and customers and for their stern punishment. On Monday, Moon called for a thorough investigation and denounced the alleged crimes as a “cruel act destroying a human’s life.”

Other articles published by Las Vegas Sun

Test your knowledge of Memorial Day Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Observed annually on the last Monday in May, Memorial day is set aside to honor the men and women who have died in service to our country. While it didn’t become an official national holiday until 1971, its origins begin with the Civil War. The quiz...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

The coronavirus pandemic may have wiped out college graduation season, but the Las Vegas Valley’s Class of 2020 shines brightly even though it didn’t get its well-deserved turn in the spotlight. Today, we celebrate this year’s graduates from UNLV,...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

In some professions, helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus means working from home or keeping a respectful and safe distance from coworkers at the office. But when your office might be a burning building, social distancing becomes more...

The Notes: Philanthropy, May 25, 2020 Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Christensen Development’s Center Pointe Plaza and Trails Village Center shopping centers partnered with 15 tenants to purchase over $1,000 worth of food from each small business to donate to Summerlin Hospital,...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

During uncertain economic times, the unpredictable act of investing can be made even more unpredictable, local experts say. Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic crisis in the United States, money decisions for average investors have certainly...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

If Nevada amateur baseball legends Bryce Harper or Kris Bryant were eligible for this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, not much would have changed for the sure-thing prospects. They would sign a pro contract, collect a...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Memorial Day weekend marking the unofficial start of summer in the U.S. meant big crowds at beaches and warnings from authorities Sunday about people disregarding the coronavirus social-distancing rules and risking a...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

NEW YORK — New York Liberty general manager Jonathan Kolb knew that he and first-year coach Walt Hopkins would have to make some tough decisions on the team's roster this year. He just didn't think they'd have to do it so quickly and without seeing...

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

ATLANTA — One was a 94-year-old veteran of World War II who was the first of his 11 brothers to enlist in the military. One was a Vietnam veteran who lost his leg overseas and was always touched when people thanked him for his service. Another was...

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Eddie Sutton waited so long to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He couldn't hang on long enough to make it to the ceremony. The man who led three teams to the Final Four and was the first coach to take four schools to the...

Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Immediately after giving his valedictorian speech, high school senior Philip Root, still clad in his cap and gown, climbed into a borrowed race car and drove up to the finish line at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. With the yellow tassel of his graduation...

Ailes’ influence is terrifying Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

I just finished re-watching Showtime’s important documentary “The loudest voice in the room,” about the jaded career of Fox News creator Roger Ailes. There are millions of responsible conservatives who are devotees of this cable channel. When they...

GOP, Trump are indefensible Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

The May 17 editorial, “An accommodating GOP, Trump are transforming America into a dictatorship,” was outstanding. You laid out the facts in such a way that they are both concise and undeniable. I encourage you to publish any letters that attempt to...

Trump sending us all into war Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

We do not have an Ahab obsessed with a white whale. We have a white whale obsessed with its ego and re-election. President Donald Trump says we should be his warriors. We should work, shop, mingle, etc., in crowded spaces. Will there be more coronavirus...

Ayatollah leading Iran back to the past Posted Sunday, 24 May 2020 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Enough with the absurdities of Donald Trump and his mangling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Enough of all this talk about the tens of thousands of lives that researchers have concluded Trump’s dithering, narcissism, incompetence and intellectual vacuousness ...