SEOUL, South Korea — A South Korean court on Monday turned down an extradition ask for by the United States for a South Korean citizen convicted of functioning a single of the world’s major child pornography internet websites on the dim web.
The South Korean, Son Jong-woo, 24, completed an 18-thirty day period sentence in April for functioning a baby pornography site called “Welcome to Online video,” which was inaccessible by frequent website browsers and for which he collected expenses paid out in Bitcoin from the site’s end users, officers explained. The United States Justice Division preferred him extradited to face dollars-laundering and other prices in an American court.
But in a commonly monitored ruling, the Seoul Higher Court docket reported that preserving him in South Korea would support the country in its efforts to observe down the consumers of his internet site for doable indictment.
The court’s final decision on Monday was a substantial letdown for anti-baby pornography teams in South Korea that had hoped that Mr. Son’s extradition to the United States would help discourage sexual crimes in South Korea. Some of the gentlemen in the United States who acquired youngster pornography by way of Welcome to Video clip have been sentenced to five to 15 a long time in prison.
In distinction, a lower court docket in South Korea gave Mr. Son only a suspended prison term. An appeals court docket later on sent him to jail, but for only 18 months.
Anti-youngster-pornography activists in South Korea, who have been outraged by what they see as the area judiciary’s mild punishment of Mr. Son, experienced also identified as for his extradition.
Mr. Son operated Welcome to Online video from June 2015 until finally he was arrested in March 2018. Legislation enforcement officials all around the globe have worked with each other to monitor the site’s consumers and have arrested hundreds of persons in a dozen international locations, most of them South Koreans.
They also rescued at minimum 23 underage victims in the United States, Britain and Spain who were being becoming actively abused by end users of the internet site, the Justice Division mentioned in Oct, when it revealed that Mr. Son experienced been indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for jogging the site.
In Might, Mr. Son’s father sued his son, accusing him of concealing proceeds from his legal activities. The shift was widely witnessed as an try to open up a new legal scenario towards Mr. Son in South Korea and avert him from remaining extradited to the United States.
In the courtroom on Monday, Mr. Son once more apologized for his criminal offense and stated he would “take whichever other punishment there is for me below in South Korea.”
Community outrage from underage pornography has developed in South Korea in latest months, prompting Parliament to move a invoice contacting for jail conditions for the possessors and viewers of little one pornography, as properly as for its producers and distributors.
South Korea has also been scandalized by the discovery of a community of clandestine on-line chat rooms that lured younger females with promises of higher-paying out employment on-line and then exploited them sexually.
A number of males are on demo on costs of coercing dozens of women, which includes underage ladies, into carrying out intercourse functions and sharing the footage in spend-to-view services run by means of the messaging application Telegram.