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Army to decide possible identity disclosure of enlistee over online sex crime case

All News 11:17 April 28, 2020

SEOUL, April 28 (Yonhap) -- The Army said Tuesday it will hold a deliberation session to decide whether to disclose the identity of an enlisted soldier accused of involvement in a high-profile sexual exploitation case.

The private first class is suspected of distributing content of women performing gruesome sex acts under coercion in collaboration with the so-called Nth room case's prime suspect, Cho Ju-bin.

The solider was put under pretrial detention earlier this month and has been under investigation by the military prosecution for his role in the case.

"We will hold an identity disclosure committee meeting today and will decide whether to disclose the identity and how to do that," the Army said in a release.

The seven-member panel, to be headed by a military prosecutor, also consists of four outside experts, including a law professional, a professor, and a cleric, it added.

If approved, it will be the first time that the military discloses the identity of a soldier suspect.

It is not clear if the result of the meeting will be available within the day because of due procedures necessary before making it public, such as the prior notification of the decision to the suspect.

Earlier, police disclosed the identities of the 24-year-old Cho and another co-conspirator, 18-year-old Kang Hun, saying the decision was to guarantee people's right to know and to prevent similar crimes.

In preparation for a possible similar move, the military authorities last week devised new guidelines regarding the issue, according to officials.

The main culprit, Cho, is accused of luring and threatening victims into producing sexual content and distributing those materials via Telegram chatrooms. He was indicted earlier this month.

So far, 25 women, including eight underage girls, have been confirmed to be victims of the case, according to the prosecution.

Cho Ju-bin gets into a car at a police station in Seoul on March 25, 2020, before being sent to prosecutors on allegations that he blackmailed dozens of victims into performing violent sex acts and sold the content in a chatroom on the messaging service Telegram. (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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