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South Korean Citizen Sentenced to 4 Years for Sexually Harassing Underage Kids in Metaverse

2 mins
Updated by Ryan James
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In Brief

  • A 30-year-old man from South Korea was sentenced to 4 years in prison for sexually harassing underage children in a metaverse.
  • According to the local police, the accused has been involved in illegal activities since 2021.
  • In addition to a prison sentence, the accused will undergo 80-hour treatment in a medical facility.
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A 30-year-old man from South Korea has been sentenced to 4 years in prison for sexually harassing underage children in a metaverse. 

The accused pretended to be a peer using a childish avatar, engaging with kids, sending them presents, and luring them into sending photos and videos without clothes. The newspaper that reported the story did not name the platform the accused used but referred to it as a “popular domestic” site.

According to the evidence obtained by the police, the person has been using the platform for illegal activities since 2021.

In addition to imprisonment, they will have to undergo 80 hours of treatment at a medical facility. They are also banned from working at any facility connected to children and people with special needs for seven years. 

Virtual spaces are gaining momentum

Metaverses designed for kids have been gaining momentum, with companies like LEGO and Epic Games developing digital services for children of all ages. Mattel, a toy manufacturing company, partnered with an NFT marketplace Cryptoys. Mattel’s toys like Hot Wheels and Barbie will be turned into non-fungible tokens, and users will be able to play with them in Cryptoys’ metaverse.

Regulating the metaverse

With growing interest in virtual spaces, questions have been raised about potential regulations and user protection.

Jamilia Grier, the Founder, and CEO of a legal and business consulting firm working with clients in the Web3 space ByteBao, believes that governments need to act right now. “It’s inevitable that some users will take advantage of others and that crimes will be committed, and sadly, we can already see some of those happening now. Just as we have laws to address crimes in the physical world, it’s also important to have laws in place to deal with crimes committed in the metaverse,”

“Assault, for example, should be addressed on a case-by-case basis by applying the laws of relevant jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions may remain silent, while others may actively pursue bad actors in order to ensure the safety of its current and future users, including our children,” Grier said in an interview with Finance Magnates.

The issue with regulating metaverses might prove to be difficult, as virtual space should be addressed as a tech platform – something Coinbase has raised concerns about in a lawsuit against the U.S Treasury Department following their ban of the software Tornado Cash. 

“If code can be designated without any limits imposed by law, any technology, any tool or system could be fair game,” said Coinbase commenting on the lawsuit.

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Catherine Ross-Mychka
Before joining be[in]crypto, Catherine worked as a deputy editor in chief at Cointelegraph, editor in chief at, and crypto managing editor at Benzinga. She has hosted numerous video shows and international conferences, has moderated over 30 panels and interviewed over 60 crypto entrepreneurs and executives.