Four reporters from the Chinese-language China Times were yesterday summoned for questioning by prosecutors over sexually explicit photographs taken from videos allegedly filmed by Justin Lee (李宗瑞) that were published in the newspaper.
The China Times on Sunday ran articles about the Lee case on the front page and page 3, and posted several photographs believed to be taken from the videos allegedly filmed by Lee.
The newspaper pixelated the women’s faces and sex organs in the photographs.
Lee, who has been accused of drugging and raping several women, among them several celebrities, and filming the acts, turned himself in to prosecutors on Thursday evening after spending more than three weeks on the run. He was taken into custody following a hearing at the Taipei District Court.
Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office spokesman Huang Mo-hsin (黃謀信) said that because the publication of the photographs by the newspaper may have violated regulations concerning the distribution of sexual material and offenses against privacy, prosecutors had summoned the reporters for questioning.
Huang said the maximum penalty for distributing sexual material was a two-year jail term, while violations of offenses against privacy could result in a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Prosecutors were trying to determine how and where the China Times obtained the photographs. Three reporters from another Chinese-language newspaper were released on bail last week after being arrested for publishing sexually explicit photographs linked to Lee’s case.
Meanwhile, prosecutors yesterday attempted to identify the IP address for the WWW.CK101.com Web site, where six videos featuring Lee and several women were posted and made available for download over the weekend.
Huang said posting the photographs on a Web site for paid downloads or to attract more advertising violates the Criminal Code.
Police and investigators reportedly found explicit videos involving more than 40 women on a computer seized at Lee’s home.
During the district court hearing, 27-year-old Lee denied the accusations made against him, saying his sexual activities had all been consensual and that he did not secretly film any sex acts or circulate any photographs or videos of him engaging in sexual acts with women.