Seoul, South Korea — Police on Friday requested a court warrant to arrest a female model suspected of having secretly taken a photo of her male colleague, while he was posing nude for a drawing class, and then distributing it on a feminist hate site without his consent.
The Korean invasion of privacy case took place during a drawing class for fine art students at Hongik University in Seoul.
The suspect, only identified by her surname Ahn, was arrested without a warrant Thursday. She was initially considered a witness, but later was investigated as a key suspect after it was revealed she deliberately threw away one of the two cellphones she had used, according to police.
Authorities believe Ahn used the now discarded phone to take the photo and are searching for it.
Ahn reportedly told police she “didn’t think (the situation caused by her acts) would get as serious as it has,” and that she deleted her post on the website when it proved problematic.
The case triggered much controversy especially after it was revealed the online community where the suspect leaked the photo is a “radical feminist” site where some members have openly supported misandry.
When she uploaded the photo to Womad, the suspect also included a caption that mocked the victim with sexual undertones, to which some users responded, “Nude male models must have mental illnesses.”
Ahn is reported to have told police that although she used to be a member of Womad, she is no longer active in the community. The authorities, however, discovered that she had sent an email to the organizers of Womad asking them if they could erase her IP address that had been used to access the site, which police would be able to use to trace the suspect.
According to police, the suspect and victim met for the first time the day Ahn took the photo. They were both modeling for fine arts students at Hongik University, and reportedly had a conflict over who should be using the rest area provided by the university for nude models.
The victim also filed a cyberlibel complaint against two Womad members who posted malicious comments on the leaked photo.
According to 2016 data from the Korean National Police Agency, some 5,184 sexual harassment cases including spy-cam footage — illegally uploaded video footage created by using hidden cameras in public spaces such as changing rooms in gyms or toilets — were reported that year.
Source: Korea Herald