Mon, Nov 17, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Serial rapist gives up NTU dream after reading story


An imprisoned serial rapist who made headlines two years ago when he was admitted to National Taiwan University (NTU) has given up his right to enter the prestigious school, a Christian group said yesterday.

The inmate surnamed Yang informed the Christian group of his decision recently in a letter to Huang Ming-chen (黃明鎮), secretary-general of the Christian group dedicated to assisting inmates in repenting their sins and rebuilding their lives.

Yang, who has been denied parole four times over the past two years, said in the letter that a story he read in a book has prompted him to make up his mind to give up his dream to enter NTU.

The story was about a child whose hand inadvertently became stuck in a valuable antique vase. In order to save his hand, his parents broke the vase. They came to find that the child actually had a piece of candy in his hand and that breaking the vase was a result of the child's stubbornness.

"This story inspired me to give up my right to enter NTU. I won't be that child. I won't cause trouble and panic in society any more simply because of my intention to enter the university," he said.

Yang, in his mid-30s, was sentenced on 34 counts of robbery and sexual attack. He was also known as the "Huakang Wolf" because most of the crimes he committed were at Huakang, the campus of the Chinese Culture University on Yangmingshan in suburban Taipei. Yang has served roughly half of his 17-year prison term.

Since Yang passed the hotly contested university entrance examination in the summer of 2001 and got the admission to the NTU's Department of Sociology, the Ministry of Justice's parole board has turned down his appeal for parole four times after extensive consultations with experts who were unable to agree unanimously with the prediction that there is little likelihood he will repeat his crimes.

Public concern over the inmate's release and entry into university has also fueled the parole board's worry that he might not get the acceptance and sympathy which is vital to his successful rehabilitation in the community.

Vice Minister Hsieh Wen-ting (謝文定) once said there is a feeling in local society that Yang should stay behind bars longer to pay off his crimes, which Hsieh said was why the parole board denied his parole.

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