A Seoul court on Thursday sentenced the mastermind of one of the country’s largest online sex trafficking rings to 40 years in prison.
The Seoul Central District Court found Cho Ju-bin guilty of violating laws to protect minors from sexual abuse and of operating a criminal ring to make profits by producing and selling abusive videos.
“The accused has widely distributed sexually abusive content that he created by luring and threatening many victims,’’ the court said.
Earlier this year, the online predator was indicted on 14 counts of criminal allegations.
Cho was accused of organising a criminal ring from last year May to February this year, during which he and his accomplices blackmailed 74 women, including 16 minors, into filming sexually abusive content and selling them to the members of Baksabang, an online chat room on Telegram.
The 25-year-old college graduate was also alleged to have ordered one of his conspirators to rape an underage girl after blackmailing her over her nude video.
The punishment fell short of a life sentence sought by prosecutors in October who cited irreparable damage done to his victims.
One of the victims said in a petition that Cho and his co-conspirators are evil and deserve imprisonment for 2,000 years.