Korean Law Demystified!

Indecent Exposure Law in Korea


In Korea, a professional baseball player is currently awaiting indictment for a crime he committed last month. He was caught masturbating in his car while watching a passerby woman. He’s most likely to be indicted for “Public Obscenity” under the Criminal Act (형법).

Article 245 (Public Obscenity)

A person who publicly commits an obscene act shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or by a (criminal) fine not exceeding 5 million won, detention or a minor (criminal) fine.

He’s been released from the team and won’t be playing baseball.

FYI 1: Unlike the two crimes below it, “Too Much Exposure” (TME) is only a minor crime. This means it won’t end/show up on one’s criminal record. According to police, TME is when you make another (average) person feel uncomfortable/embarrassed. A topless man jogging in downtown Seoul should be okay, I think.

FYI 2: If you, for no good reason, expose your genitals, butt, or nipples (women), it can be “Public Obscenity” depending on severity. Whether it was severe enough to arouse (in others) “sexual” feelings. In such case, it will end/show up on one’s criminal record!

FYI 3: “Indecent Act by Compulsion” is, for example, masturbating in public + forcing others to watch you (such as inside an elevator). That “the victim had no choice but to keep watching” is important. This crime, of course, is the most serious of the 3 crimes. It is tantamount to groping!

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