An average of 17.7 cases of “molka” -- using hidden cameras to take pictures or videos for sexual purposes -- were reported per day last year, a lawmaker said Sunday.
According to the data Rep. Park Kyung-mee of ruling Democratic Party of Korea received from the National Police Agency, a total of 6,465 cases molka crimes were reported in 2017, showing an increase of 1,280 cases from the year before.
While the numbers continue to increase, only 1,720 of the 4,499 molka suspects identified by police in 2016 went to trial, the lawmaker said. The data for 2017 and this year have not yet been released by the police.
Rep. Park also pointed to the weak punishment rate, as only 10.5 percent of the 809 first trials in molka cases that happened from January to June resulted in prison sentences. Another 41.1 percent of the convicts were released on probation or suspended sentences.
Article 14 of the Act on the Punishment of Special Cases of Sexual Crimes Imprisonment states its violators are subject to up to 5 years in prison or a penalty of less than 10 million won.
“We now live in an era where the very basic of human rights are being violated by the ‘molka’ crimes that has secretly penetrated our daily lives,” Rep. Park said. “As (the secretly captured contents) can lead to irreversible damages once they are spread and circulated via the internet and social media, (the criminals) should be heavily punished.”
By Jo He-rim (firstname.lastname@example.org)