South Korea sentences man to 4 years for sexual abuse in the metaverse

A South Korean man was sentenced to four years in prison for storing sexually exploitative content of minors he lured on the metaverse.

The 30-year-old man used an avatar and fabricated his age on a South Korean metaverse platform. He offered gifts to minors to draw them into filming and sending images of their bodies from December 2021 to March of this year, according to reports.

He was accused of violating the Act on the Protection of Children and Youth. On top of his four-year jail sentence, he must attend 80 hours of treatment programs for sex criminals.

The offender was also banned from working at any establishment related to teenagers and the disabled for seven years.

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“The quality of the crime is extremely bad by targeting the victims of children and adolescents who do not have an established conception of sexuality and lack the ability to protect themselves, to satisfy their distorted sexual desire. It is reasonable to hold them accountable,” the Uijeongbu District Court reportedly said.

According to the sentencing, the exploitative content was not distributed or made for profit.

Shin Hyun-young, a lawmaker for the opposition Democratic Party, led a proposal in June to sanction sexual offenses committed in the metaverse. Due to concerns regarding the protection of youth and personal information, South Korea’s science ministry also proposed eight ethical principles for the metaverse, including authenticity, autonomy, reciprocity, respect for privacy, fairness, data protection, inclusion and responsibility.

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Featured Image via Minh Pham

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