The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that sided with a domestic importer of a sex doll that resembles an underage girl and remanded the case.
In its reversal that allowed the import of the sex toy, the top court cast concerns over the use of the doll leading to a distorted perception of minors as sexual objects and that violent or forced sexual acts can be permitted.
The court said while the item may not be an expression of a sexual act, its use poses no less danger or harmful effect than sexually exploitative digital materials involving minors.
This is the first time that a case involving a sex doll that resembles a minor was reviewed by the top court, which previously often sided with domestic importers, citing that sex dolls are personal devices, not obscene materials.
The unidentified importer took legal action against Incheon Regional Customs after authorities suspended customs clearance for the sex doll from China in September 2019.
The lower courts had initially sided with the importer, saying it would be difficult to determine that the doll seriously damages or distorts human dignity or value.