The Taipei District Prosecutors' Office decided yesterday to drop charges against a prosecutor being sued for sexual harassment, although he will face administrative punishment.
The case revolved around the actions of Prosecutor Tsai Hung-chan (蔡宏展) during his investigation of a slander suit filed by Tsai Chi-ling (蔡季玲).
Tsai Chi-ling has filed suit against Huang Chih-chun (黃至君) -- the son of former Democratic Progressive Party chairman Huang Hsin-chieh (黃信介) -- and his wife Tseng Mei-ling (曾美玲). She claimed to have had an affair with the younger Huang.
Huang Chih-chun and his wife have denied that he had an affair with her. Tsai Chi-ling filed a slander suit against the couple for allegedly calling her "psycho" on TV last year.
On Feb. 3, Tsai Hung-chan (蔡宏展) summoned Tsai Chi-ling questioning.
According to Tsai Chi-ling, the prosecutor suddenly left his seat during the hearing, walked toward her, took hold of one of her hands and read her palm. She said he then told her, "According to my understanding reading your palm, you are a woman who would constantly cheat on your man."
Tsai Chi-ling accused the prosecutor of drinking on duty, saying she could smell alcohol on him when he approached her.
According to Taipei District Prosecutors' Office Spokesman Lin Bang-liang (林邦樑), Tsai Chi-ling sued Tsai Hung-chan for publicity insulting her and for sexual harassment.
"Our investigation showed that the prosecutor grabbed Tsai Chi-ling's hand twice, for a total of 28 seconds. Since the action occurred inside the courtroom during a closed-door investigation, it wasn't a case of `public insult,'" Lin said.
"As for the sexual harassment allegation, the prosecutor touched the plaintiff's hand -- with her agreement -- so this charge did not hold up either," he said.
The prosecutors' office did not comment yesterday on Tsai Chi-ling's complaint that Tsai Hung-chan was drunk on duty. However, Lin has previously said that Tsai Hung-chan has had to rely on alcohol to get to sleep at night ever since a car accident a few years ago and any alcohol Tsai Chi-ling smelled must have been from the night before.
The office has decided to administratively punish Tsai Hung-chan, labelling his behavior during the interrogation "improper behavior." As of press time, the Taiwan High Court had not ruled on the punishment.