On May 14, 2020, the South Korean court held the preliminary hearing for the publicly-revealed perpetrator of the Nth Room Sex Abuse Case, “baksa” Cho Joo Bin. The defendant himself did not appear in court — as he and all inmates of the Seoul Detention Center had been scheduled for mandatory coronavirus (COVID-19) testing — but his lawyer represented on his behalf.
Korean press coverage of the hearing revealed that Cho Joo Bin’s lawyer insisted Cho Joo Bin “does not need to wear a GPS monitor“.
For one, the lawyer is said to have argued, “Cho Joo Bin is not the actual person who harassed and/or raped the victims in the videos” — and therefore, it is unreasonable for the prosecution to push for a GPS monitor.
In addition, the lawyer reportedly also insisted, “Since Cho Joo Bin’s identity has been revealed on national television“, there is no need for him to be shackled in an ankle gear. The lawyer quoted, “Cho Joo Bin already has limited access to mobility“.
Most importantly, the lawyer declared that Cho Joo Bin does not admit to one of the submitted evidences. This motion would then require the witness to be present in the courtroom when it is reviewed. In other words, Cho Joo Bin and his lawyer pushed to question one of the victims in the Nth Room videos in the courtroom during the trial.
We would like to dispute evidence number — and the validity of the witness’s statement. We do not agree with it and request that it be questioned in court.
— Cho Joo Bin’s Lawyer
The prosecution immediately objected, insisting that “Bringing forward a sex crime victim in front of the offender is a crime in and of itself“. Unfortunately, as disputing the validity of an evidence is a right that belongs to Cho Joo Bin, the court honored the request and claimed, “All witness questioning will be carried out in private.”
Upon coming across the details of the preliminary hearing, Koreans are utterly and thoroughly outraged by Cho Joo Bin’s unapologetic stance in the matter.
- “He’s a monster. I can’t believe the prosecution and the lawyer and the victims have to waste their time listening to his bullsh*t.”
- “Why is he still on his high horse? What right? What gives him any right to say anything about the victims? This is nonsense.”
- “I knew he would not be sorry… But to really hear that he doesn’t sound like he knows what he did wrong… It’s mindblowing.”
- “This is f*cking ridiculous. Yeah, he’ll dispute the evidences. And yeah, the judges are going to let him off easy. It’s a tragedy.”
- “Everytime he says anything, he hits a new low. And I know the lawyer is doing his job or whatever… but really? Really? This is beyond upsetting.”