Image Source: Everett Collection
Netflix's true-crime documentary "Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror" tells the story of the "Nth Room" and "Doctor's Room" cybercrimes in South Korea. In 2020, journalists revealed a disturbing ring of online chat rooms that contained graphic, nude images and videos of minors that were paid for and consumed by thousands of anonymous users. Though incredibly disturbing and saddening, the perpetrators behind the crimes were eventually caught and held responsible for their crimes.
One of the masterminds responsible for creating and producing the illegal, explicit content behind "Doctor's Room" was Cho Ju-bin, who was referred to online as Baksa, which translates to "Doctor," during his crime spree between 2019 and 2020. Here's everything we know about where Cho is now.
Who Is Cho Ju-bin?
Born in 1995, Cho attended Inha University in South Korea in 2014 and was an incredibly successful student, earning a 4.0 GPA during his time there, as reported by Korean publication, MoneyS. While in college, Cho became involved in the university's newspaper, first starting out as a reporter, then moving up to the editor-in-chief position. Following his graduation, however, Cho joined a cybersex crime ring that would soon affect the remainder of his life as he knew it.
How Did Cho Ju-bin Commit His Crimes?
According to The New York Times, Cho started his line of heinous crimes in March 2019. Through Telegram, a messaging app, Cho lured young girls, some of whom were minors, on the app by promising "high-paying, part-time" jobs, such as modeling or other work. Through this process, Cho would get personal information from the girls, such as addresses and phone numbers, which would eventually be used to blackmail them. If the girls refused to move further into the fake job-hiring process, Cho would threaten them and force them to send sexually explicit or nude photos or videos, per Korean newspaper Kukmin Ilbo.
The South China Morning Post reported that after Cho received the content, he would sell the photos and videos to some 260,000 users of the "Nth Room" on the Telegram app. The users were completely anonymous and often bought the content through a form of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin. While on Telegram, Cho operated at least three of the rooms that hosted content of his victims. The rooms each had a different theme or concept, like "Girls' Room" or "Female Teacher's Room," in which users were required to pay 1.5 million won (approximately $1,200) to enter a room.
How Did Cho Ju-bin Get Caught?
Through various tips and leads, many Korean newspapers started looking into illegal cybersex crimes in South Korea. The investigations of newspapers like Kukmin Ilbo and The Hankyoreh helped expose the horrid nature of the "Nth Room," as well as the men responsible for it. Readers of the publications took to social media to express anger and outrage over the crimes committed on the messaging app and demanded accountability by the perpetrators, as well as the Korean government. Through various hashtags and a Blue House Presidential Petition (which reached 2.7 million signatures), the identity of Cho, as well as the other leaders of the "Nth Room," were exposed to the public, according to The Michigan Daily.
Where Is Cho Ju-bin Now?
After Cho's crimes were revealed, he was arrested in March of 2020 and remained in custody until he was found guilty of "violating laws protecting minors from sexual abuse and of operating a criminal ring to profit from producing and selling abusive videos" in November 2020, as reported by The Guardian. In total, he victimized 74 women, including 16 minors. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Watch "Cyber Hell: Exposing an Internet Horror" on Netflix on May 18, and watch the trailer below.