A Korean exchange student studying in the United States has been arrested for creating pornography of K-Pop idol minors.
The Jeju District Prosecutor’s Office announced that a male in his thirties, dubbed Mr. A, has created and distributed thousands of pornographic images of K-Pop idols below the age of 18.
From August 2019 to June 2023, he created 2,300 pornographic videos using “deepfake” technology. He digitally manipulated the faces of underage K-Pop idols and other celebrities to give the appearance of realistic-looking adult material. Though he did not sell the material, he distributed around 5,800 synthesized pornographic videos through exclusive member-only chat rooms on Telegram and similar platforms. It was confirmed that at least 50 celebrities were victims of his crimes.
He admitted to these charges in a statement explaining how he first came across deepfakes.
While I was in Korea, I accidentally came across fake videos and then started producing and distributing fake videos for my satisfaction.
— Mr. A
Korean police found Mr. A’s Telegram chat rooms in December 2022 as well as the fact that he was living in the United States. They obtained an arrest warrant for him, invalidated his passport, and requested cooperation from the U.S. law enforcement agencies through the red notice system of Interpol. He was arrested at his residence six months later in June 2023.
The sex offender was indicted on charges against the Special Act on Punishment of Sexual Crimes, the Act on the Protection of Children and Juveniles Against Sexual Abuse, and the Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization and Information Protection.
The US court denied his application for bail and proceeded with deporting him back to his home country, South Korea. He arrived handcuffed at Incheon Airport on August 22.