A softball coach who has admitted sexually assaulting 12 male students at a junior-high school in Taipei over the past three to four years has been transferred to the Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office for further questioning, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Lai Su-ju (賴素如) said yesterday.
The councilor said the suspect, surnamed Hu (胡), had worked at various schools in Taipei and elsewhere as a softball, tennis and judo coach.
To gain the students’ trust, Hu apparently took them on outings, invited them to barbecues, or gave them allowances of between NT$500 and NT$1,000, Lai said.
After gaining their trust, the 40-year-old suspect — nicknamed “Hu Daddy” or “Pastor Hu” by his students — would allegedly entice them into empty churches where he sexually abused or harassed them, Lai said, adding that some victims had been abused for up to four years.
The case only came to light when a parent saw inappropriate Facebook messages between Hu and their son and requested school authorities to look into the matter, Lai said.
Lai said the school launched an investigation and later informed the Ministry of Education about the case.
Investigations are being carried out to determine the actual number of victims, Lai said.
Hu, who is married and has a daughter, holds a master’s degree in theology from a university in northern China and regularly attends church activities, initial investigations by police showed.
Hu has since been suspended from his post, the Taipei City Department of Education said, while the school is conducting an internal investigation.
He was detained by the Taipei City Police Department’s Beitou Precinct, Lai said.