A sex-abuse scandal incenses millions of South Koreans

Mar 26, 2020

“FIRST HE JUST asked for a picture of my body, but then he asked if I could send one that showed my face...and then he asked me to play with myself...to use school supplies,” the girl told a local radio show on the morning of March 24th. She went on to describe a weeks-long ordeal during which she sent more than 40 graphic videos to a man she feared would publicly humiliate her if she stopped complying. “He had all my personal information...I was afraid he would threaten me with that if I quit.”

The girl was a middle-school student at the time of the alleged incident two years ago. She is only one of dozens of apparent victims in the latest sexual-abuse scandal to rock South Korea.

On the same day that she described her plight, police revealed the identity of the man who stands accused of running a range of porn channels, known as “nth rooms” on the Telegram chat app, charging up to 30,000 subscribers between $200 and $1,200 (most of that, it seems, collected in bitcoin to avoid detection) for access to graphic sexual content extorted from young women and under-age girls. Cho Ju-bin (pictured), a 24-year-old graduate and former college-newspaper editor who called himself baksa, or “doctor”, was named after 2.5m South Koreans signed a petition clamouring for his identity to be made public. Almost...

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