KakaoTalk Used as Evidence in Rape Case

Ko Yeong-uk being swarmed by the media looking for comments

A 36 year old man is being investigated on charges of statutory rape, for having sexual relations with an 18 year old [18 Korean age = 16 or 17 international age]. Their messages sent over KakaoTalk are the primary source of evidence used to incriminate the man known as Ko Yeong-uk [고영욱]. Although police statements infer that the police are strongly against him, saying ‘we are looking for more evidence to convict him.’ A close acquaintance of Mr. Ko, defends Mr. Ko albeit inconsistently saying that Mr. Ko would never do such a thing or send such messages, that the girl only showed part of their KakaoTalk conversation and that it was the girl, not Mr. Ko who initiated the sexual relationship. Police report that Mr. Ko contacted the girl, suggest they go to a quiet place, gave her alcohol, had sex and suggested they continue to be sex partners.

Netizens are divided on the issue of how much blame Mr. Ko deserves with some feeling that the girl purposely tricked him so that she could sue him and get compensation money. The girl is only refereed to as Ms. A so as to protect her privacy, however Mr. Ko Yeong-uk has had his full name and picture published, before even being convicted.

From Nate:

Police are investigating 36 year old Ko Yeong-uk on charges of statutory rape. Mr. Ko broke his silence, offering the contents of his real life conversations with the 18 year old accuser Ms. A, stored on KakaoTalk as proof.

My Daily reported that someone very close to Ko Yeong-uk’s talked to them in an interview and complaining that ‘What was shown to the police as what Ko Yeong-uk sent to Ms. A on KakaoTalk, is far from the truth. He never even wrote that kind of thing on KakaoTalk.’

According to police, Ko Yeong-uk meet Ms. A via a cable tv program, at the end of March. First attracting her by telling her ‘I will help you become a celebrity.’ then after saying ‘Because you are a celebrity, it will be awkward if strangers find out, so let’s go to a quiet place.’ He then took her to his Office-tel (mixed use building where rooms can be used either for residential or commercial purposes), gave her some alcohol and then had sexual relations with her.

Afterwards it was seen through their KakaoTalk messages that Ms. A asked ‘what kind of relationship shall we have?’ and got the response ‘We are both fond of each other so I thing we will have good relationship.’ He later messaged her again letting her know he wanted to keep up their sexual relations.

Ko Yeong-uk close associate responded to this saying ‘The investigation still isn’t over yet. The situation is still not yet fully known, so there are a lot of parts we should be careful about before making judgments. There could be parts that weren’t sent, but said like Yeong-uk claimed, that might be really private and painful. All the messages sent over KakaoTalk to that girl, should be shared, as they are of interest. Even the extremely private content needs to be looked at, as it might end up solving this injustice.’

According to the friend, if you look at the conversation between Ko Yeong-uk and Ms.A, Ms. A was the first to suggest ‘let’s meet in a quiet place with no people.’ and furthermore Ms. A was the first one to take self pictures and send them to Ko Yeong-uk right after there first sexual encounter. Saying “Oppa(big brother) please send me some pictures too.” and that she was the one demanding a sexual relationship and making the situation very difficult for Yeong-uk. Also he didn’t know she was a minor. And furthermore after going to their meeting place she joking said ‘I guess I should report you for this eh?’ he added.

Meanwhile the investigation of Ko Yeong-uk by the Yongsan police department continues, and they applied for an arrest warrant on the 9th. But due to lack of evidence, as of the 10th they could not get an arrest warrant and are quickly working to gather more supporting evidence against him.

Comments from Nate:


As Ju Byeon-jin said ‘Even though I knew the incident would occur, I wasn’t thinking about the consequences at the time.’
I’m suddenly reminded of Ju Byeon-jin. Now, I’m not exactly trying to defend the guy here, but. Think about it, that anyone can write something that they think is ok, but then later it can come back to bite them in the butt. People need to think about the consequences before they act. 
[Ju Byeon-jin is a B-list celebrity who in the year 2000, was charged with sexual assault after taking a girl to his hotel room. The poster of the above comment seems to think the women in both these cases were just out to get the older men]


Honestly this really doesn’t seem like something that was forced. I think they just started off dating, then moved to the next level in their relationship, then after accepting him the girl realised she was just being used as a friend with benefits, and got worked up once she saw the truth. She was silly for not thinking that people can change their mind whenever.


I honestly wanna believe this guy’s story.


Don’t lie about what happened, just speak honestly.~ Retard~ Anyway, because you did it with a minor, there isn’t any way out of this for you~ Also I have seen girls exactly like her~


I really don’t understand the best reply here (first comment translated) Whether it was made public or not, doing thing with a minor is illegal in itself. Why are people defending him?? Whether he knew what he was doing or didn’t he touched a minor is what’s important even if she is a working student. Why is allowed to use that as a defense?


This guy is funny. ke ke. he is admitting his friend did it, when he says how is what he did wrong??????? ke ke. The dirty man is going to be in jail for two years.


He did not leave it to chance, He gave her his private information, contacted her, lured her, and gave her alcohol. With this kind of process Ko Yeong-uk definitely planned it in advance, and then put his plan into action. It gives me chills. I wonder if this one female student is his only victim.


Whether he meant to or not, he forced her into the public spotlight, by approaching her, giving her alcohol, and having a sexual relationship.


What did you plan to do with the child’s phone number? You have no reasonable excuse for other purposes you may have had for meeting her. Instead you should have just rolled up your pants and beat your calves like a man and a humane person. You shouldn’t go after little girls without knowing your responsibilities, that is really pathetic.


The moment he said he didn’t know she was a minor he lost all credibility. Sounds like a frequent excuse used by sex offenders. I hope he dies.


I don’t think she is a sex scammer… And if you put all the pieces of the story together, it looks like Ko Yeong-uk is a player! [negative connotations in Korean] Just like he always does, he felt a duty to make use her as his lover, so that is why he approach the pretty, young girl. Of course I don’t think it was his goal to do anything bad or abusive, he just has the habit of hitting on every girl he sees… I don’t think that from the start his goal was 100% to sleep with her… He just intended to bring her to his office-tel, chat with her and give her alcohol, but then they found they were right for each other and then consensually slept with each other. So it wasn’t sexual assault. The girl just became his lover, and then he meant to make her his girlfriend. He was going with the flow…. But after he slept with her, he changed his mind again…. No matter how rude Ko Yeong-uk was, she still slept with him to easy and seems like she will drop out of highschool, but Ko Yeong-uk should have known at his age… Whether or not he wants to date her as his girlfriend. So I think they texted each other just because they were fond of each other and thought they could have a good relationship. Or this might just be another case of a guy trying to have a method where he can sleep around without having to think about dating them~ But I think because he really liked her and wanted to date her, that he why he said let’s date.

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  • Brett Sanbon

    Isnt statutory rape the act of having sex with a minor? If so, shouldnt it be proof enough to arrest him, or at least detain him? I knew a guy in college who, like that MTV special, got his under age girlfriend pregnant. He was locked up until bailed out by said girlfriend.

    Even if she set him up, I feel like the police should be able to accomplish even a small feat… It appears that they truly do not do anything.

  • Bam Wam

    Thanks for the article!

    If the allegations are true (He admitted it, now denies it), I hope he gets the maximum sentence. What really interests me however are the replies. They are starkly different from the ones I read on Allkpop which just have upranked victim blaming posts. I think an even more interesting aspect of this story is this “cult” of fans that these Kpop artist have. Mr. Ko (Go Young Wook) fans seem to vehemently deny this charge and have resulted in verbally attacking the victim.

    I also find that this situation seems to stem from this whole Kpop industry in general. I noticed that a lot of these girls are underage, yet are paraded around in skimpy outfits, and “sexualized” by the recording industry. They are then voted on by other celebrities and the general public for “most ideal wife/gf”. Maybe I’m reading too much into this culture, but if you take this all into account, it makes it seem like there are more cases of statutory rape of these girls, than actually reported.

  • DigitalSoju

    I’m confused. I’ve read many times the age of consent is 13 in Korea (dead serious).

    • Brett Sanbon

      I think

      • Brett Sanbon

        …smartphone malfunction…

        I think Ive heard its 20 (19 western age) in Korea. 13 in China.

  • *sigh*

    Officetel is not office on the ground floor, bedroom on the upper floor, it is a room in a buidling that can be used either as an office or a living space, ie. a building that is zoned as both commercial or residential. Some of them are “loft-style”, but the article doesn’t indicate whether the one in question is or not.

    • Steven Wilson

      Thanks for pointing that out, I will make the correction. : )

      • mr. wiener

        Someone is using your name and photo avatar on chinasmack. Probably slim shady. Please look into this as he is saying some very off color things and I’d hate them to be attributed to you.

        • Steven Wilson

          You and me both. He has been I.P. banned from this site, and will have a similar fate at chinaSMACK soon. But unfortunately, not soon enough…

  • Jang

    The age of consent in S. Korea is 13 which means having sex with a 12 year old is illegal, 13 year olds are fair game. And it’s also legal for adults to contribute(alcohol) to minors.
    “The current law punishes only adults having sex with those aged under 13.”
    And here is an MBC(Korean lang.) source…
    MBN news video(as of 2010/10/18)…

    I doubt there has been any change in the perv’s law?

    • Steven Wilson

      미성년자 성폭행 is the term that was used. So I’m not really sure what is up. : S

    • Brett Sanbon

      Im missing something…. If the official age of consent is 13, whats this story about?

      • Stories of butts

        I hope that this isnt implying he had sex with a 13 year old…..

  • guk

    Hi. I’m a Korean and weak in English, but I can find some mistranslations, so i make bold to point something out.
    연예인 is celebrity like actor/actress, comedian or singer etc.
    연예인을 시켜주겠다 is ‘I will help you to be celebrity’.
    In first paragraph, subject is 고영욱 not Ms. A, so not ‘Ms. A broke her silence’ but ‘Ko Yeong-uk brock his silence’ is correct.
    In first comment from nate, ‘People only knew the incident had occured, but were not interested in the consequences(court’s ruling)’ is more correct translation. It’s related to the false accusation from his accuser and the acquittal in the case of sexual assault.
    성매수자의 단골멘트 is contextually ‘frequent excuses of sex offenders’.

    • Chucky3176

      I wonder if this site is deliberately mistranslating to serve a purpose. Thanks for pointing out the mistranslations. I noticed this isn’t the first time the mistranslations of netizen comments. That and your point, has made me read the original netizen posts AS WELL AS, go over to the Korean site and read the entire reactions, instead of relying strictly on what this site chooses to publish, to get the real overall reactions from Korean netizens.

      • Brett Sanbon

        Seriously? You dont know how this site’s post selection works?

        What purpose do you think this site is serving, if not to provide readers with popular Korean news? I am sure that if something was mistranslated, Steven or any other translator would be more than happy to make corrections.

        Finally, you do know that no one forces you to visit, don’t you? No one is asking you to read the articles and post.

      • Too right. Any translation mistakes are the responsibility of the translator and are duly corrected. It’s in our interest to make sure we can be as accurate and transparent as possible.

        And, Chucky, your tiresome persistence never ceases to amaze me.

      • guk

        It seems several of writers are not fluent in Korean so there are some mistranslations, but it’s natural and I don’t think it’s intentional.
        Furthermore writer like Justin_C is perfectly fluent in Korean enough to translate slang or neologism exactly. (He is Korean?)
        And I read the interview of editors of this site and felt no ill will.
        You might experience other site that mistranslate things on purpose but let’s think positive.

      • Bam Wam

        Not everyone is out to cast a shadow on Korea, it was an honest mistake. Anyone with half the brain to Google your username will realize that all your posts on the internet has uber-nationalist Korean written all over it. You managed to piss off the majority of the forums you participate in, with the except of the super nationalist Koreansentry that you and your fellow nationalist get together and jack off too as you stroke the flag and shit on countries like China, Japan and the US. We get it, you believe Korea can do no harm and will fight vehemently to defend it, even if there’s no fight to be had. But damn, at least take a look before you start leaping to conclusions.

        • Chucky3176

          I’m trying to limit my comments here in this site, lest they ban me but…..

          What in the heck are you talking about? If it was an honest mistake, then it’s a mistake. I just wondered why they keep making the honest mistakes over and over again. I just hinted maybe because this site thrives on sensational news, so maybe they’re looking out for sensational Korean netizen comments as well, from such classy sites like Naver and Daum Agora. Am I not right? Certainly this site never talks about the Korean economy or culture or some boring shit like that. It’s always the stories that are unusual, the weird, and the ugly. And I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with picking stories like that. But don’t try to pretend it’s not designed to draw readers by drawing controversy. It’s no different actually, from how the media, especially the Korean media operates. Once again, I reiterate, I don’t blame Koreabang for being like that.

          I don’t deny I’m a nationalist (it’s a dirty word for the Western political correctness, but I am not ashamed of it), but I’ve always defended the US. If it’s true and I shit on other countries then how come you are always shitting on Korea? And I’m accused of being tiresome persistent, but look back to my brief posting history and I’ve only participated on three or four topics in this site. For the vast majority of weird and ugly topics, I’ve not said anything at all. Where do you see I’m defending Korea all the time? One of them was the plastic surgery topic with people like you accusing Koreans of being 100% plastic surgeried, and the other gross generalizations, that Koreans knowingly pop human pills made out of dead Chinese babies, like they’re aspirin. These tiresome and predictable generalizations, I found offensive, that’s why wrote back.

          • James

            Referring you to the FAQ Chucky so you see how comments are chosen, we do our best to be as transparent as possible: http://www.koreabang.com/faq

            And, for the last time, we choose whatever is popular on the Korean internet and occasionally, very occasionally, we’ll do a little write up about something.

            It’s not us fishing around for bizarre stories, it’s what people are commenting on/sharing/posting that catapult the stories onto the front pages of major Korean web portals or to the top of their “most commented” sections. Again, you’re tiring for everyone else on here because you still don’t seem to understand the entire point of the site.

            And when you openly profess to be so nationalist, don’t expect people to take you particularly seriously. Yes, it is a dirty word amongst those who are more politically correct, especially since it so easily gives rise to racism. And to prove the point, here’s a selection of your own YouTube comments you’ve been making over the years writing under the username “chucky3176” (and this time, I really have chosen the worse ones):

            From YouTube:

            ching chong should the fuck up. Dirty chinks.

            LOL. Japanese shouldn’t bother to rap. I love the way how they try to pass this off as a Korean. Typical Japanese.

            Chinese are pollutants in this world. Too many of them fucking chinks. They are like cock roaches and maggots – too many of them. You can squash them up but then they’ll reproduce themselves and multiply again because they’re too ignorant to know what a birth control is. Primitive ugly creatures…

            Nasty dirty Chinese, they’ll eat anything that moves, crawls, and breaths. A sign of a barbaric backward culture and people. I wish they would start washing their dandruff oily hair. Chinese are the most dirtiest in Asia.

            Nothing about this country is real. Everything is a fake. Fake food, fake toys, fake cars, fake people, fake news, fake media, fake Olympics, fake Space program, fake walk in the space, fake fake fake fake fake. All fake. Maybe even Chinese are fake.

            Only a good chink is a dead chink.
            The world is cursed with these fucker cockroaches that breed like rats. Uncivilized barbaric dirty cockroaches.

            Basically, Chinese are immature children that need to be treated as one. They basically are uncivilized ugly people with superiority attitude. But just because they think they are superior, doesn’t mean they are. They are dumb cheap dirty wetbacks similar to cockroaches. You can stamp on them and…

            It’s typical Japanese to blame Koreans for their every ill in their society – even Japanese nationalism based on fascism that’s blamed on Koreans.

            Koreans are not as much racist as Westerners. Please look at this video of a black guy in Korea, what he heard before he went to Korea, versus when he arrived. youtube.com/watch?v=lh8Wvlitc1E&feature=related
            Most of the bad stories about racism in Korea come from White people

            So forgive us if we don’t really have much time for you.

          • Brett Sanbon

            Chucky everything on this site is about Korean culture… the only stories are stories that are popular in Korea. Why are you so ready to sling assumptions and accusations about everyone and everything?

            Please go to chinaSMACK (sister site) and read over every article from the date of creation and let me know if there is one about Chinese economics.

            If you humbled yourself just a little bit, Im sure you could request a specific article. Or you could probably talk to James about translating your own piece. Just remember, it has to be POPULAR Korean news, not something you deem interesting.

            Also your persistence has nothing to do with how many topics you have been a part of. It is your unwillingness to try and see things from a different view, always assuming people are trying to paint Korea and Koreans in a bad light. Lighten up just a little bit. This is an entertainment site.

          • Brett Sanbon

            Shit… James beat me to the punch.

          • Chucky3176

            James, you took all that time to go through and dig up all that dirt in my reply comments against Chinese and Japanese nationalists who were the ones starting up the garbage topics in Youtube. wow… what can I say.

            You have just agreed with me that you guys pick topics that are sensational headlines. And I said there’s nothing wrong with that, everyone does it, especially the Korean media. I don’t see what the problem here is, and I’m confused with your FAQ, which says:

            Q. Why are racists and racist comments often allowed?

            A. We do not moderate comments on the basis of racism alone. Racism, bigotry, and prejudice are a major part of the internet and human society in general. While many foreign websites prohibit and moderate comments for racism or hate speech, most major Korean news portals and discussion forums do not. This combined with our conscious effort to provide an honest look into the Korean-language internet means we often translate Korean netizen comments and discussion that may include racist sentiments.

            Just as we do not hide racist attitudes among certain Korean netizens, we decided from the beginning we would not hide racist attitudes by individuals commenting on our website. This does not mean we endorse or promote such attitudes, it only means “Korean people and foreigners are not so different after all“.

            We believe we live in a time and increasingly globalized world where racism and bigotry cannot be fought by pretending it doesn’t remain and persist. We also believe those who want better have the responsibility to speak up and speak out.

            We understand many individuals will be uncomfortable with this policy, but we do hope you will understand our reasons.

          • James

            No Chucky, I didn’t agree that we pick what’s most sensationalist, we pick what’s most popular. A “little write up” means a feature about a related topic, in case you misinterpreted what that meant. Sometimes, the most popular stories can appear to be a bit sensationalist, sometimes they’re just interesting, we leave it up to whatever’s popular at the time.

            Not sure what you’re confused about in the FAQ, you’re free to be as racist as you feel you have to be. But people aren’t going to take you particularly seriously when you call yourself a nationalist and make racist comments, even if you haven’t done it on this site before. When you draw so much attention to yourself, as you have done in the past, people are probably going to Google your username and, can’t believe I’m agreeing with someone called “Bam Wam”, but it does give away your bias somewhat. Not that that excuses the crudeness of Bam Wam’s comment either.

            We’d be hypocritical if we didn’t allow people to be racist/xenophobic or nationalist within our comments section when we actively translate it from the Korean internet. But, again, don’t expect many people here to tolerate you drag on a debate for ages without at least trying to offer a bit of balance or, perhaps, logic. Nor should you expect people to forgive you for being racist to another racist or xenophobic to another xenophobe.

            I do, however, appreciate that, for the most part, you’ve toned yourself down on koreaBANG. We rarely moderate people but please have a think about what sort of website this is and what audience you’re speaking to. You’re not fighting against Chinese and Japanese nationalists –– for the most part, you’re actually talking (or broadcasting your thoughts via your comments) to people who just have a genuine interest in Korea and a fondness for the culture. You actually have the potential to do Korea more harm than good by being so proactively defensive.

          • Bam Wam

            Is my name that bad? I will apologize for the crude imagery in my previous post, but I won’t for the aggression. Most of the Chucky’s replies to my posts have been made with unwarranted aggression on his part, so my post was the same way.

            James brings up a good point though, I didn’t stumble across this site by looking for articles that sensationalized the “bad parts” of Korea, I’m actually very interested in my homeland. But being that I can’t read the language, I have to take what I can, from where I can find it. Koreabang fits that part of my criteria. They provide me with the translated articles and the korean reactions to it; what’s unique however is the comments by the english readers of this site, along with the the ability to discuss the article in a unique forum. So please, if you are going to contribute, at least keep an open mind.

    • Steven Wilson

      Thanks Guk for pointing out those errors. I will try to be more careful in the future.

      Thanks Brett for helping to cover up “the true purpose” of Korea bang, if the public were to find that out, the illuminati would have me – *Oh God! They are here for me!*

  • Jang

    Nate is lazy for not knowing the age is for statutory rape!

  • Ami

    This man first showed his shame when he first told the girl “Even though we are lovers, it will be awkward if strangers find out, lets go to a quiet place.”

    He knew what he was doing was suspicious and wrong and he wanted to hide it.

  • glenn

    quite confused if the girl is really telling the truth.. but doing it with a minor is an offense in itself… so I guess he’ll be spending some time in jail..or settle it outside court..

  • Paul M

    A friend of mine is currently working as a public prosecutor in Busan and I seem to recall him saying that the age of consent is 13(14) and is legal only if the act is performed on privately owned property – so motels and other such establishments are out of bounds until 18(19).

    I’m curious to know how the police were informed? Did the girl in question inform them or was it a concerned friend or relative?

    • Bam Wam

      If that’s a real law, it’s just asking to be abused with that glaring loop hole. I don’t want to sound critical, but 13(14) is a very young age, I wonder what the reasoning behind it being that low is?

    • Jang

      Paul, How does the place have anything to do with the act of sex with a 13 or 14 year old girl? Let’s say a 40 year old man and his 13 year old girlfriend go on a day trip to the ocean, rent a room, take a nap, shower, eat, poop, and decide to get it on; will your prosecutor friend prosecute because the deed wasn’t done at the 40 year old man’s home? I doubt it!

      • Bam Wam

        If it’s a statutory rape law, doesn’t the state/government pursue the charge and prosecution, with no say from the victim (ie: if the victim whats to or doesn’t want to press charges)? If this is the case, than Paul’s friend has no real say in pursuing the charge, and goes with whatever the state/gov deems legal.

        So what I’m saying is that if Paul’s explanation of the current law is correct, than his friend couldn’t prosecute, even if he wanted to, if the deed had happened at the 40 year olds private estate.

        But we’re jumping to conclusions, it would be great if someone could verify that Paul’s recollection of that law is correct.

      • Sunshinefiasco

        I have no idea whether the rule is real, but the point would be that middle/high school kids can’t rent hotel rooms and that a hotel doesn’t legally have to admit a 40 year old dude with a 16 year old girl. Whether the law exists is one question, whether they enforce it well is another.

    • Paul M

      Well, I just did a quick search on the fountain of all knowledge that is wikipedia and it confirms the 13/14 age limit for consent in South Korea. As for the rest of the law regarding permitted locations I can only take my friend’s word for it. As for why the age of consent is so low I have no idea. I personally would like to see it higher but that is my personal prejudice which should have no place in any legal system (see the prejudice of some of the citizens of North Carolina voting to ban gay marriage). However there are good reasons as to why the age of consent should be raised higher.

      So assuming my friend was correct, then the police can’t do anything about it as it occurred on private property. If the police what to press charges then they need to find evidence that the people involved had sex elsewhere.

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