Fri, Jan 04, 2008 - Page 2 News List

High Court upholds former legislator's sentence for rape

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld the four-year sentence given to former New Party legislator Elmer Feng (馮滬祥) for the rape of his Filipina housekeeper in November 2003.

"The results of investigations by prosecutors and forensic scientists could not prove what Feng claimed, so the court decided to find him guilty and the four-year sentence will remain," the verdict read.

The verdict was referring to Feng's defense during the court hearing.

Two pairs of the maid's underwear became critical pieces of evidence in Feng's original trial. Prosecutors and forensic scientists discovered semen on the maid's underwear and the DNA matched Feng's.

Feng told judges that his former maid, identified only as Rose, had framed him by taking semen from a condom he had used when having intercourse with his wife and smearing it inside her underwear.

Immediately after the alleged rape, Feng paid Rose NT$800,000 (US$25,000) and sent her back to the Philippines.

The Taipei District Court originally sentenced Feng to four years in jail. Feng then appealed to the High Court. After the original verdict was upheld, Feng appealed to the Taiwan Supreme Court, where his defense presented a statement from forensic expert Henry Lee (李昌鈺) casting doubt on the pattern of the semen stains.

The Supreme Court then returned the case to the High Court for a new trial in which High Court judges yesterday decided to uphold his four-year sentence.

Feng can appeal again to the Supreme Court within 10 days of his receiving the verdict.

Yesterday's verdict added that the High Court had changed the date of the hearing four times at Feng's request, but he still failed to attend any of the rescheduled hearings.

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