Prosecutors demand 30-year prison term for accomplice in Telegram sex exploitation case

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SEOUL-- Prosecutors on Tuesday demanded imprisonment of 30 years for a 19-year-old co-conspirator of a high-profile digital sexual exploitation ring during his appellate trial.

The trial of Kang Hun took place at the Seoul High Court after a Seoul district court handed down a 15-year prison sentence to him in January for colluding with notorious ringleader Cho Ju-bin to operate a Telegram chatroom that distributed sexually abusive materials.

Kang allegedly acted as an accessory to the operation of the "Baksabang" chatroom on Telegram, which allowed paid members to view illegally taken photos and videos of violent sex acts. He was indicted for blackmailing 18 female victims, including seven minors, into producing sexual materials for distribution and sale via Baksabang.

Prosecutors asked the appellate judges to give severe punishment to Kang, saying he treated victims as "non-human objects" and forced them to commit shocking crimes. Many of his victims cannot lead a normal life and their pain can hardly be described due to the characteristics of organized digital sex crimes, prosecutors argued.

Meanwhile, Cho, the mastermind of the Baksabang ring, was sentenced by an appeals court to 42 years in prison last month and has since appealed to the Supreme Court.

Cho and his accomplices are accused of blackmailing 74 women, including 16 minors, into filming sexually abusive content and selling it to the members of Baksabang.

Source: Yonhap News Agency