Korea gets tough on possession of underage porno
Prosecutors adding charges against people held for previous sex crimes
아동 포르노 다운받았다가… '부끄러운 어른들' 덜미
|Beep for help - The chief of the Jeju Provincial Police Agency, right, explains how to use a beeper yesterday that instantly connects to the 112 emergency police hotline, following a brutal murder of a tourist in the Olle Trail in July. Tourists can borrow the beeper for free at the Olle hiking course, the Jeju International Airport or local cruise centers.[YONHAP] |
To crack down on child pornography, which is being blamed for recent sex crimes against children, legal authorities are going after some people who possess it on their computers.
Since the relevant law was established in 2008, prosecutors have concentrated on producers and distributors of child pornography, not customers.
On Tuesday, the Suwon District Prosecutors’ Office arrested three people and indicted 57 more without detention for possessing and distributing child pornography. The prosecution also put one person on a wanted list for the same charges.
All of the arrested and indicted people have been earlier convicted of sex crimes, including child prostitution, sexual violence and distributing child pornography on the Internet.
The prosecution said many people without criminal records have also been detected with child pornography, but they decided to indict only people who were previously charged with sex crimes.
Among the 57 people indicted, five were charged with possessing child pornography on their PCs. It is the first time that the prosecution indicted people for possessing pornography. The remaining 52 were indicted for distributing the porn on the Internet.
The prosecution also arrested three people, including a 38-year-old man surnamed Lee, another Lee, 33, and Kim, 42. The three were arrested for distributing obscene content for money. The prosecution said the Lees uploaded a total of 2,113 pieces of child pornography on the Internet in August. They earned cybermoney from Web sites and used it to download movies and music. The two Lees met in 2010 when they were in prison, one for raping a child and the other for distributing child pornography on the Internet. The 42-year-old Kim uploaded 870 pieces of child pornography in August and earned 1.7 million won ($1,500) worth of cybermoney from Web sites.
In Busan, a total of 225 people were booked without detention for distributing pornography on the Internet. The Haeundae Police Precinct in Busan said yesterday a 31-year-old man surnamed Goh uploaded 5,600 pieces of pornography in the last three months onto multiple Internet file-sharing Web sites in return for cybermoney.
In addition, the Busan Metropolitan Police Agency also arrested a 48-year-old man surnamed Kim for distributing obscene flyers indiscriminately on the streets. The police said Kim was arrested Saturday night while distributing business card-size flyers for prostitutes with images of naked women and phone numbers near Busan West Bus Terminal. Kim was detained with a court-issued warrant yesterday.The police said it was rare for a court to issue a warrant to detain a flyer distributor even though current law states that obscene flyer distribution is subject to two years in prison or a 10 million won fine. Generally, violators are booked without detention.
“Kim is the first suspect to be detained in the country for distributing obscene flyers,” Park Jae-cheon, a spokesman of the Busan Metropolitan Police Agency, told the JoongAng Ilbo. “We judge that the court’s decision reflects the social atmosphere that strongly demands the government root out sex crimes.”
Police said Kim testified he used a cell phone registered under a fake name to contact flyer producers, but he refused to identify them.
By Choi Mo-ran, Kwon Sang-soo [firstname.lastname@example.org]