A woman who was indicted on suspicion of abetting socialite Justin Lee (李宗瑞), who was charged with sexually assaulting 28 women and filming the acts, admitted in court yesterday that she had helped Lee hide from authorities and pleaded for a lenient sentence.
Chen Mei-lan (陳美蘭), who was charged with concealment of offenses and destruction of evidence by Taipei prosecutors, attended a hearing of the Taipei District Court yesterday morning.
Chen is suspected of having allowed Lee to stay in her home in Changhua County for three weeks amidmedia reports of Lee fleeing and investigators’ efforts to determine Lee’s whereabouts.
The 27-year-old Lee turned himself in to prosecutors on Aug. 23 after hiding in Chen’s residence since July 31.
Chen said during the hearing that she was a single mother raising three children. She was introduced to Lee and his father several years ago at a dinner party, and came to regard Lee as her own child.
“During his stay, Lee kept persuading me that he was innocent and that the accusations and media reports about the case were false,” Chen added.
“I allowed him to stay at my home out of mercy,” she said, pleading with the court to give her a probation sentence.
The court ruled Chen’s case would be decided on Dec. 10.
The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office has indicted Lee on six charges of aggravated forcible rape, 12 charges of forcible rape, 10 charges of intercourse with an unconscious person and 17 charges of invasion of privacy.
Prosecutors said Lee was suspected of drugging a number of women in several luxury nightclubs in Taipei since August 2009, taking them home and raping them while they were unconscious.
Lee allegedly filmed all the sexual acts.
Some photographs — believed to be stills taken from the videos — were posted on the Internet shortly after Lee went into hiding.