|Cho Ju-bin. Yonhap|
A man suspected of blackmailing dozens of victims, including minors, into performing violent sex acts and selling the videos in mobile chat rooms was handed over to the prosecution on Wednesday for further investigation.
At least 74 people, including 16 underage girls, are known to have been exploited in the case, widely known as the "Nth room case," in which prime suspect Cho Ju-bin allegedly lured victims into taking photos and later coerced them into performing more gruesome sex acts.
The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency sent Cho's case to the prosecution on charges including violation of the act on the protection of children and youth against sex offenses.
The 24-year-old, whose name and photo were released on Tuesday, appeared in front of the public early Wednesday as he was being transferred to the prosecution from a detention unit at Jongno Police Station in central Seoul.
"I genuinely apologize to everyone who has suffered harm because of me, including President Sohn Suk-hee, Mayor Yoon Jang-hyeon and journalist Kim Woong," said Cho, who was wearing a neck protector and a bandage.
It is not yet known why he mentioned the names of the three men. Sohn is a president at South Korean cable broadcaster JTBC and Yoon is a former mayor of the southwestern city of Gwangju.
"Thank you for putting a brake on the life of a devil that could not be stopped," he added. He did not, however, respond to questions on whether he acknowledges the charges and whether he feels remorse for his alleged actions.
Outside the police station, some people shouted at him, telling him to suffer in pain and urging authorities to give him the heaviest legal punishment possible.
Police plan to continue their probe into Cho to identify additional charges and the amount of financial gain he allegedly reaped from the incident, which has shocked the nation and prompted public outrage. (Yonhap)