Fri, May 27, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Cabinet approves treatment revision to sex assault act

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  Staff Reporter

The Cabinet yesterday approved an amendment to the Sexual Assault Crime Prevention Act (性侵害犯罪防治法) to make it possible to impose compulsory treatment on sex offenders found guilty before June 30, 2006.

The amendment was prompted by an incident in March in which a junior high school girl was raped and murdered by Lin Kuo-cheng (林國政), who had just been released on parole after serving more than eight years in prison for sexual and other offenses

Before the first subparagraph of Article 91 of the Criminal Code came into effect on July 1 2006, compulsory treatments of sex offenders was imposed only in prison, while the implementation of compulsory treatments after release was not applied retroactively to individuals convicted of sex crimes before that time.

If the amendment passes the legislature, prosecutors and local governments can ask courts or military courts to refer sex offenders convicted before June 30, 2005, to specific sites for compulsory treatments upon completion of their prison terms.

Such applications would have to be filed together with a risk assessment of the potential recidivism of a sex offender conducted by the prison where the convict was incarcerated.

However, the Cabinet did not support the Ministry of the Interior’s proposal about making public the names and photographs of sex offenders found guilty before June 30, 2005.

The Cabinet yesterday also approved an amendment to the Anti-Corruption Act (貪汙治罪條例) aimed at expanding the application of Article 6 regarding the crime of holding large amounts of property with no identifiable source.

If the amendment passes the legislature, all civil servants will be subject to the regulation rather than only defendants charged with committing the unlawful acts currently listed in the Act.

The amendment also proposes a redefinition of the crime. Currently, prosecutors can demand a defendant found guilty of corruption declare the origins of his or her assets if the annual increase in the total assets of the defendant, his or her spouse and their non-adult children in any of the three years following the crime exceeds total family annual income in the latest year.

If the Act is amended, prosecutors can demand that civil servants found guilty of corruption declare the origins of their assets if the increase in total assets is not proportional to his or her income in the three years preceding the crime.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet approved a proposal to encourage overseas students to enroll in higher education programs in Taiwan. The government will spend NT$5.7 billion (US$197.2 million) on a scholarship program that will run from this year to 2014.

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