Supreme Court agrees to review former lawmaker Elmer Feng's rape conviction

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Mon, Feb 05, 2007 - Page 1

The Supreme Court has decided to review the four-year prison term the Taiwan High Court imposed on former New Party legislator Elmer Feng (馮滬祥) for sexually assaulting his Filipina house-keeper after Feng submitted a statement from forensic expert Henry Lee (李昌鈺).

Feng told reporters yesterday that because Lee had provided a forensic statement to the Taiwan High Court and the Supreme Court that raised questions about two pieces of underwear with his semen on them, the Supreme Court decided to review his sentence.

The Filipina victim had provided the courts with the underpants she wore after she was raped and the pair she wore after she took a shower six hours after the rape.

Feng said that Lee had questions about the semen on the underwear because the spots looked similar and were lake-shaped, rather than strip-shaped, leading Lee to ask whether the spots were the result of discharge from the woman's vagina or had been smeared on by hand.

A man produces around 3cc to 5cc of semen by a single ejaculation, Lee said in his statement, adding that it would be suspicious if the spots of semen on the two pieces of underwear totalled more than 5cc.

In its ruling, the Supreme Court said that "the semen on the underwear should be an arguable point and one which was in favor of the defendant Feng, but the Taiwan High Court failed to resolve the matter."

The Taiwan High Court ruled last August that the former lawmaker was guilty because the DNA collected from sperm taken from the housekeeper's vagina and her underwear matched that of Feng.

Feng said yesterday he was glad the Supreme Court was giving him a chance to prove his innocence and restore his reputation.

"I appreciate Dr. Lee's help with my lawsuit. I obtained his help after a couple of old friends helped me to contact him," Feng said.

He said his former housekeeper had framed him by taking semen from a condom he had used when having intercourse with his wife.

Feng was accused in February 2004 of raping his housekeeper, identified only as Rose, in November 2003.

After the scandal erupted, Feng paid Rose NT$800,000 and sent her back to the Philippines. Rose's supporters said the cash was hush money.