Thu, Aug 10, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Elmer Fung sentenced to four years for assault

SEXUAL PREDATOR A court spokesman said the conviction was based on DNA tests that matched sperm collected from the victim to that of the former legislator

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Former New Party legislator Elmer Fung (馮滬祥) was given a four-year jail term yesterday by the Taiwan High Court for sexually assaulting his Filipina housekeeper. Fung said he would appeal the ruling.

The judges decided Fung was guilty because DNA collected from sperm taken from the housekeeper's vagina and underwear matched that of Fung," Taiwan High Court spokesman Wen Yao-yuan (溫耀源) told the press yesterday.

The victim's injuries on her body and her statements also show that Fung sexually assaulted her, Wen added.

Fung yesterday said he was innocent and that he would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Fung was accused in February 2004 of raping his Filipina housekeeper, identified only as Rose, in November 2003.

Fung had said Rose made up the allegations because she was seeking revenge against his wife, who had complained about her work and had reprimanded her.

He suggested that Rose had framed him by taking semen from a condom he had used with his wife.

After the scandal erupted, Fung paid Rose NT$800,000 (US$24,150) and sent her back to the Philippines. Rose's supporters said the cash Fung had given her was hush money.

Fung acknowledged giving Rose NT$800,000, but said that the money was part of the woman's annual salary plus layoff pay.

In February 2004, the International Labor Association accused the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei of colluding with Fung in reaching the settlement with Rose.

The association also accused MECO of colluding with Fung in sending her home.

Association chairwoman Chen Su-hsiang (陳素香) said that after the incident, the woman turned to MECO for help, but the office put her in a temporary shelter and cut off all contact between her and the outside world.

"MECO officials, as well as Fung's wife and lawyer, told her that she had only two choices. One was to fight a legal battle, which they said could land her in jail if she lost. They said her second choice was to reach an out-of-court settlement, take the money, go home and start a new life," Chen said.

Chen said the association learned about the case on Jan. 26, 2004, when Rose was already "under house arrest" by MECO and that she was sent home in such a short time that it could hardly do anything for her.

Fung's previous legal woes were factored into the sentence, as the judge noted that the former lawmaker had been found guilty of libeling Tseng Wen-hui (曾文惠), the wife of former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝).

additional reporting by CNA

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