TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — South Korean police revealed the creator of the "Nth room" to the public on Monday (May 18) before transferring him to prosecutors.
The "Nth room" refers to multiple chatrooms on the messaging app Telegram in which photos and videos of sexually abused girls and women were shared and sold. When the case was first publicized in March, it caused a public uproar and brought to light the dark corners of a society that has been lenient with sexual violence and failed to protect victims.
Cho Ju-bin, who managed one of the largest chatrooms — about 10,000 users — is suspected of blackmailing young women who were attracted by the fake job ads he posted. After Cho coerced them into taking explicit photos of themselves, he would use the photos, along with other information acquired illegally, to compel the women to become the subjects of dehumanizing sexual videos, according to AP.
Although Cho and some 400 other suspects have been arrested since March, the founder of the criminal enterprise, who went by the username "Godgod," was still at large until recently.
On May 9, after a 10-month investigation, the police found Godgod through a burner phone that he threw away in 2017, the JoongAng Daily reported.
According to Gyeongbuk Police Agency, Godgod, a 24-year-old college student named Moon Hyung-wook, did not earn money collecting entrance fees to the chatrooms as Cho did. He only received payment once and then apparently transferred it to some victims, encouraging them to stay quiet; his motives appear to have been sexual rather than financial.
"I feel regret and sincerely apologize to the victims and their families. I had some misconceptions about sex before," Moon attempted to explain, standing in front of a row of camera flashes and furious protesters.
The police said Moon produced and distributed more than 3,000 videos of sexual abuse. They are still investigating 160 who spread or kept these videos.