Sat, Jul 09, 2005 - Page 1 News List

Elmer Fung guilty of raping Filipina

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH AP

Former New Party legislator Elmer Fung vows to appeal his conviction for raping his Filipino housekeeper in November 2003 during a press conference yesterday after the verdict was handed down by the Shilin District Court.

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUI, TAIPEI TIMES

Former New Party legislator Elmer Fung (馮滬祥) was given a four-year jail term yesterday after being found guilty of sexually assaulting his Filipina housekeeper.

"The DNA collected from sperm taken from the housekeeper's vagina and underwear matched that of Fung," the presiding judge said yesterday at the Shilin District Court as he delivered the sentence.

"While there was no witness to the crime, the evidence shows that Fung sexually assaulted [the woman]," the judge said.

A defiant Fung continued to proclaim his innocence yesterday, telling reporters he never raped his former housekeeper, and suggested that the verdict was politically motivated.

"I have been persecuted by the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] and the court because I have criticized the government," he said.

"I will appeal the ruling to the Taiwan High Court to prove my innocence," he said.

Fung was accused in February last year of raping his Filipina housekeeper, identified only as Rose, in November 2003.

Fung said Rose had made up the allegations because she was seeking revenge against his wife, who had complained about her work and had reprimanded her.

He suggested that Rose had framed him by taking semen from a condom he had used with his wife.

After the scandal erupted, Fung paid Rose NT$800,000 (US$24,150) and sent her back to the Philippines. Rose's supporters said the cash Fung had given to her was hush money.

Fung admitted to giving Rose NT$800,000, but insisted that the money was part of the woman's annual salary plus layoff pay.

Fung's daughter, Fung Fu-hwa (馮復華), cried in the courtroom yesterday as the verdict was read.

"The judge took only the evidence presented by the maid and ignored all the evidence we presented," she said.

Fung's previous legal woes were factored into the sentence, as the judge noted that the former lawmaker had been found guilty for libel against Tseng Wen-hui (曾文惠), the wife of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

Because Fung had committed another criminal act within five years of his first conviction, according to the Criminal Code, the court was obliged to deliver a heavier sentence.

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