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Gang rape victim's sister speaks against doxxing suspects

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : June 10, 2024 - 18:26

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The younger sister of the victim in the 2004 Miryang gang rape case has recently spoken out against YouTubers disclosing the identities of the perpetrators, alleging the victim had never consented to making them public.

The sister wrote a post in online used car community Bobae Dream on Sunday, with a screenshot of text messages exchanged between her and local YouTuber Pan-seug, who has been uploading videos revealing the personal information of the alleged perpetrators of the Miryang incident.

The image showed the sister repeatedly requesting the videos to be deleted on behalf of the victim, to which Pan-seug responded hours later by asking her to wait. She claimed that the YouTuber had uploaded the videos without the consent of the victim, using a recording of his telephone conversation with the victim seven months earlier.

In 2004, 44 high school boys in Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province were found to have taken part in physically and sexually assaulting a then-14-year-old girl over the course of a year. At the time, none of the 44 perpetrators were criminally charged after the police investigation and trial, as they were deemed "minors with no prior criminal record."

The case has resurfaced in recent weeks as multiple vigilante YouTubers started doxxing the alleged perpetrators online, claiming that they had obtained the victim's consent to do so.

But the Korea Sexual Violence Relief Center, a group that has been supporting the victim, said last Wednesday she never was asked for her prior consent to the personal information being released.

The sister said the victim suffers from an intellectual disability that she had not been diagnosed with back in 2004. She said the victim only remembers part of the incident, and is "currently suffering from a YouTube video about which she has no memory of."

Pan-seug issued an apology to the victim and her family through a notice on his channel Monday, although he expressed confusion at the victim's stance, as he claimed she had urged him to punish the perpetrators of the incident.

Pan-seug has deleted all related videos as of Monday.

Another YouTuber by the name of Narack Bogwanso had also uploaded videos about the Miryang perpetrators, but deleted the videos last Friday when it was revealed that the victim had not consented to the videos. Narack Bogwanso then posted the videos again the next day, claiming that the younger brother of the victim had agreed to have the information disclosed.

Such acts of publicizing videos doxxing the alleged perpetrators but without the consent of the victim have sparked debate here. Criticism has been directed at the YouTubers in particular, such as Narack Bogwanso, who reposted the videos after taking them down, writing in the community section of his channel that although the victim's sister had requested they be taken down, the victim's brother had said they should be made public.

The Korea Communications Standards Commission said Monday that it plans to discuss Narack Bogwanso's case at its meeting Thursday. The committee can only make a request about the videos to YouTube, since the video-sharing platform is not a local firm.

Narack Bogwanso wrote on his channel Monday that he plans to continue uploading videos related to Miryang regardless of the commission’s review.