Woman in nude photo case guilty

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Woman in nude photo case guilty

A court sentenced a 25-year-old woman to 10 months in prison on Monday for secretly snapping a photo of her male colleague, a nude model in a drawing class at Hongik University in Seoul, and uploading the picture to a radical feminist website.

The sentence immediately drew backlash from members of the feminist website, who called the ruling sexist and unfair and perceived a double standard in the court.

A judge at the Seoul Western District Court found the perpetrator, who was only identified by her surname Ahn, guilty of violating a law on “sexual crimes.”

In addition to her 10-month prison term, she will have to go through 40 hours of sex education.

Judge Lee Eun-hee said Ahn caused serious pain to the victim by posting a nude photo of him on a misandric website, Womad, and exposing his face to “unspecified masses.”

While the court took into consideration that Ahn was a first-time offender and wrote the victim seven apologetic letters begging for forgiveness, Lee said a prison term was “unavoidable” because the victim was struggling with social isolation, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder that might hamper his future career.

It was not immediately clear whether Ahn would appeal.

Most cases involving illicitly taken photos end in a fine and suspended sentence for the perpetrator, but many legal analysts believe Ahn received her sentence because she failed to settle the case with the victim.

Ahn initially denied the charges when police questioned her in May, but she eventually admitted to uploading the nude photo, saying she had an argument with the victim earlier that day over sharing a rest area with other models at the university.

Ahn and the victim had never met before the confrontation on May 1. The nude photo was uploaded to Womad later that day.

Minutes after the court handed down its verdict, members of Womad decried the ruling as unfair when similar photos of women secretly shot by men were being uploaded to male-dominated websites in much greater volume.

“I want to throw Molotov cocktails, tear down cars and burn corsets as I march down the streets,” one member wrote on the Womad website.

“If the court fears he can’t recover from his damage, doesn’t he have to commit suicide?” another member wrote. “He’s perfectly alive. Has he become impotent due to shock? Is it impossible to overcome erectile dysfunction?”

Noh Young-hee, an attorney, said the judge may not have been as lenient with Ahn as other perpetrators in similar cases because she did not settle with the victim.

Another attorney, Choi Jin-nyeong, said the verdict reflected the “will of the country’s criminal policy” to severely punish spycam offenders regardless of their gender.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN, CHO HAN-DAE [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]
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