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South Korea Denies U.S. Request to Extradite Operator of Child Pornography Site

  • July 06, 2020

In contrast, a lower court in South Korea gave Mr. Son only a suspended prison term. An appeals court later sent him to jail, but for only 18 months.

Anti-child-pornography activists in South Korea, who have been outraged by what they see as the local judiciary’s light punishment of Mr. Son, had also called for his extradition.

Mr. Son operated Welcome to Video from June 2015 until he was arrested in March 2018. Law enforcement officials around the globe have worked together to track the site’s users and have arrested hundreds of people in a dozen countries, most of them South Koreans.

They also rescued at least 23 underage victims in the United States, Britain and Spain who were being actively abused by users of the site, the Justice Department said in October, when it revealed that Mr. Son had been indicted by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia for running the site​.

In May, Mr. Son’s father sued his son, accusing him of concealing proceeds from his criminal activities. The move was widely seen as an attempt to open a new legal case against Mr. Son in South Korea and prevent him from being extradited to the United States.

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