Thu, Nov 04, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Watch out for `rapists,' say experts, convicted or not

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Psychiatrists and professors are suggesting that law enforcement officers monitor the activities of rapists after finishing jail time to guard against "repeat offending."

"These people are different from regular criminals. If you just let them go, nobody can guarantee they won't repeat their crimes," said Yang Tsung-tsai (楊聰財), chief psychiatrist at Cardinal Tien Hospital.

Yang's remarks followed the arrest on Tuesday of 30-year-old Chang Chien-yi (張健怡), a senior at National Taipei University's department of law known by police and the media as the "penknife wolf" for allegedly using a penknife to threaten his victims. He is now suspected of raping a woman soon after being released from jail more than two years ago.

The key to arresting Chang was a NT$1,000 bill he gave to that victim. The police, who spent two years analyzing the note before determining a DNA link, took Chang into custody on Tuesday.

"Chang's act [of leaving behind the money] expressed a combination of `authorization' and `appreciation' over the victim," Yang said. "However, it is also possible he was just trying to avoid any criminal charges."

Chang had told the police that the victim was a prostitute and that he had paid her for her services.

National Taipei University president Hou Chung-wen (侯崇文) agreed with Yang. He said that academic institutions treat all students equally but that law enforcement officers should follow up on those convicted of rape who study on campus and ensure that innocent people are not endangered.

"Chang will be expelled if convicted," Hou said. "We will not refuse to admit others who already have criminal records. But law enforcement officers should do whatever they can to avoid these crimes from happening all over again."

Police alleged Chang first raped a woman on Oct. 30, 1998, when he was still a sophomore at the law department of the National Taiwan University.

After he was arrested, Chang told police he was robbing the victim and not raping her. Due to a lack of evidence, Chang was indicted on charge of robbery and was sentenced to 10 years in jail on Sept. 8, 1999. He was not recorded as having raped the victim.

After Chang appealed, the Taiwan High Court ruled that the sentence should be reduced to three years and eight months. Chang began his sentence on Oct. 14, 1999.

On May 22, 2001, Chang was released on parole after passing the college entrance exam and he was admitted to National Taipei University's law department.

In July, he is alleged to have used a penknife to threaten a woman and rape her. This time, however, Chang gave the victim the NT$1,000 bill as "a token of appreciation," as the victim quoted him as saying during police questioning.

Chang told police that he was "doing business" with the victim and not raping her. The victim told police that in accepting the money she was trying to keep as much evidence as possible so she Chang could be identified.

Unfortunately, it took the police two years to identify Chang again through DNA match-ups because the fingerprints on the bill were not clear enough.

It is not clear how prosecutors have connected the NT$1,000 bill allegedly handled by Chang directly to an act of sexual assault.

According to the National Police Agency's Criminal Investigation Bureau, Chang, who is currently detained at the Taipei Detention Center, was "very slick," and knew how to "take advantage of the law" and "mislead investigators" during interrogation.

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