The Supreme Court's decision was made that possession of a 'link' for viewing child pornography is not punishable as possession of child pornography.
According to the legal community today (2nd), the second division of the Supreme Court (Presiding Judge Min Yoo-sook) recently confirmed the lower court ruling that acquitted Mr. A, who was handed over to trial for violating the Act on the Protection of Children and Youth (Possession of Pornography).
In February 2020, Mr. A purchased a link to a telegram room where 211 child and youth pornography were stored and watched pornography.
The issue at trial was whether receiving and keeping the purchased link constituted possession of pornography.
This is because at the time Mr. A committed the crime, there was no provision to punish the viewing and purchase of child and youth pornography, and there was only a provision to punish those who possessed it.
The first trial judge found Mr. A guilty of the charges and sentenced him to 4 months in prison and 2 years probation.
However, it was overturned in the 2nd trial.
It was that he simply couldn't be punished for possession of anything he bought and watched.
The 2nd trial court said, "The defendant entered the Telegram channel and watched the file once, which is not substantially different from watching child and youth pornography through streaming on the website."
He then acquitted Mr. A, saying, “There is no basis for punishing the act of watching by streaming method under the law, but if the defendant’s act is recognized as possession and punished, it is unreasonable because the criminal punishment depends on whether the method of access is streaming or the Telegram channel.” I did.
The prosecution appealed against the ruling, but the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal.
Meanwhile, in June 2020, four months after Mr. A's crime, the Act on the Protection of Sexuality for Children and Youth was amended to punish all those who purchased, possessed, or watched it.
Unlike the past where only those who possessed it were punished, the punishment has been broadened.