The police probe into alleged sexual assault and coercion at photo studios — that was started about a month ago after a petition emerged following Yang Ye Won going public with her allegations — has netted 43 suspects in nine cases.
Seoul police are investigating 43 suspects in nine cases of alleged molestation and distribution of pornography. They include people who run the studios; took the photographs; collected and distributed the pictures; and uploaded large amounts of pornographic materials online or run pornographic websites. Eight of the suspects, including the operator of the studio where Yang was allegedly molested, are implicated in two or more cases.
Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me about the multiple cases, as the studio head that Yang Ye Won made her allegations against was already found to be a piece of shit regardless of the outcome of this.
Police are looking into how studio operators recruit models and photographers, how photographers trade the photos with collectors and distributors, and how the photos are uploaded on porn sites. They are also investigating firms that advertise on porn sites, offering to delete the online photos. Police are considering charging studio operators with abetting the distribution of pornographic material, as they arranged the photo shoots without proper identification of the photographers, knowing the photos could be spread online. While the so-called “closed-door” photo shoots per se are not illegal, those who arrange them should be held responsible for the leaking of the photos, a police official said. As most victims agreed to the photo shoots, the National Police Agency plans to take steps to revise the law to toughen penalties for the distribution of lewd photos for profit even if they were taken with consent. Under the current law, the distribution of photos or videos taken for profit without consent is subject to imprisonment of up to seven years. Distribution of photos or videos taken with consent is subject to a jail term of up to three years.
Meanwhile, the latest on the Yang Ye Won specific side of things is that a photographer was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting her and leaking her photos, which comes after a distributor was previously arrested. Makes me think these dudes are definitely singing like birds to the police.
Police requested an arrest warrant on June 28 for the photographer surnamed Choi, 45, because they were concerned about evidence being destroyed and that he would flee. Choi was the first photographer to allegedly distribute the photos online after sexually abusing Yang, 24, and coercing her into modeling for pornographic photos three years ago in a “closed-door” photo shoot. The police confirmed that the photos posted on a file-sharing website had the same shooting angle and position as the photos Choi had taken and suspect Choi to have leaked the photos. However, the suspect said that he did take the leaked photos but that he had lost the storage device, claiming he is not responsible for the photos online.
The photographer’s defense is basically that he took the photos and it’s a coincidence that they made their way online because he lost them. Not sure if that’ll work legally, but logically it’s rather hilarious/pathetic.
Choi was arrested for sexual violence, which includes leaking lewd photos without the consent of the model even if the model agreed to the photo shoot. The photographer is known to be the one who supervised the photo shoot, however, Choi denies the allegations saying it was consensual.
Additionally, the police reportedly have plans to arrest the head of the studio in her case.
So yeah, at the very least it’s pretty clear that this whole probe was worth going through, as it has already unearthed unsavory people that deserve further scrutiny, and has gotten to many more who may be in the same boat.