Tue, Aug 23, 2005 - Page 2 News List

Activist goes public over blackmailer's demands

STAFF WRITER

Lin Yu-chih, 33, who suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, speaks at a press conference yesterday in Wuku Township, Taipei County, about an attempt to blackmail him over an Internet affair.

PHOTO: CNA

Author and social activist Lin Yu-chih (林煜智) turned the tables on some would-be blackmailers yesterday by going public over an attempt to extort NT$200,000 (US$6,213) from him for Web-cam images taken from an Internet chatroom.

The 33-year old Lin, who suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta and is only 67.5cm tall, told reporters that the blackmailers had threatened to send pictures of him masturbating to his publisher and several groups for the disabled that he has worked with.

Despite the embarrassment to himself, Lin said he decided to go public in order to warn others of the dangers they expose themselves to through sexual contacts made over the Internet.

He also apologized for his behavior to the disabled community.

CHATROOM FRIEND

According to Lin, who has been a regular Internet user for the past decade, he met a young woman through a video chatroom three weeks after he had broken up with his girlfriend.

He said that he thought at the time that the stars had been kind to him, giving him another chance for love.

After three days of Lin and the young woman talking through an Internet chat room, she sent Web cam images of herself naked and masturbating.

He said this was the start of a period of sexual game-playing between them.

AGGRIEVED `SPOUSE'

However, the Internet relationship was disrupted by the appearance of a man claiming to be the woman's husband, who said he would get even with Lin.

Lin was then sent Web-cam photos of himself masturbating and was told that the man would distribute the photos to Lin's publisher and to organizations for the disabled that Lin has ties to unless the blackmailer received NT$200,000.

Lin said he negotiated the demand down to NT$150,000 before deciding that a criminal gang was probably behind the blackmail attempt and that he should go public to save other people from being caught in similar traps.

POLICE CONTACTED

Lin has given a statement to the police about the blackmail attempt. He said he hoped the blackmailers would be caught.

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