Deputy minister quits job over MRT photo scandal

APPROVED::Despite saying that he made an ‘honest mistake’ when photographing a 22-year-old woman’s legs, the NDC has accepted the official’s resignation

By Lin Hui-chin, Lee Ya-wen and Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer and CNA

Mon, Jul 09, 2018 - Page 1

National Development Council (NDC) Deputy Minister Chiou Jiunn-rong (邱俊榮) yesterday resigned after allegations that he had taken photographs of a 22-year-old woman’s legs without her consent at a Taipei MRT station on Saturday.

Chiou yesterday apologized to the public and described it as an “honest mistake,” saying he accidentally took the photos while trying to call one of his friends.

He said he immediately deleted the photos and apologized to the woman, surnamed Chen (陳).

Chiou made the comments after someone identified him on the online discussion page “Baoliao Commune” as the one who allegedly took several photos of a woman’s legs at Ximen MRT Station.

The woman caught the man and demanded that they delete the photos, the netizen said.

Meanwhile, Taipei police said that the victim has reported the case to police at Ximending (西門町) and that they would summon the accused to clarify the accusation made against him.

They are checking CCTV footage from the station, police said.

In a statement last night, NDC Minister Chen Mei-ling (陳美伶) said that she has approved Chiou’s resignation and reported the incident to Premier William Lai (賴清德).

According to the Criminal Code (刑法), a person can only be charged if they have photographed another person’s private parts, lawyer Chen Chao-chuan (陳昭全) said.

According to Article 315-1 of the Criminal Code, a person can be sentenced to a maximum of three years in prison, short-term imprisonment or a maximum fine of NT$300,000 if they are found guilty of using “audio recording, photographic, visual taping or electromagnetic means without reason to record other’s non-public activities, speeches, talks or private body parts.”

Clinical observations have shown that people with high stress levels and who are sexually impulsive are likely to take photos of others without their consent, Tri-Service General Hospital psychiatrist Yang Tsung-tsai (楊聰財) said.

Taking photos up a woman’s skirt would be a way of relieving their stress or sexual urges, he said.

If conditions worsen and the people do not receive treatment, they have a 75 percent chance of committing the offense again, he said, adding that when this sort of behavior persists for more than six months, it is typically considered a mental disorder.