Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - Page 4 News List

Former legislator may face prison over rape claims

By Rich Chang  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced former New Party legislator Elmer Fung (馮滬祥) to four years in prison for raping his Filipino housekeeper in 2004.

Fung was found guilty in the case’s seventh trial, but can still appeal to the Supreme Court.

Fung has been found guilty by the Taipei District Court and convicted three times by the High Court. However, after the woman appeared as a witness and withdrew her accusation, Fung was found not guilty by the High Court in the case’s fifth and sixth trials.

The woman, identified only as Rose, was hired by Fung to take care of his mother-in-law. Rose accused Fung of raping her on the afternoon of Jan. 23, 2004.

She provided as evidence the underwear she wore after the alleged rape as well as a pair she said she wore after taking a shower six hours after the incident.

After the woman filed the lawsuit, Fung agreed to pay her NT$800,000 in compensation, which Rose’s supporters claim was hush money.

Prosecutors and forensic scientists said DNA on the housekeeper’s underwear matched Fung’s. The victim’s injuries and her statements also corroborated the accusation that Fung had sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.

Fung told judges that his former housekeeper had framed him by taking semen from a condom he had used when having intercourse with his wife and smearing it on her underwear.

Yesterday’s ruling said that although Rose had withdrawn her accusation following the compensation, her original statement and statements from doctors at Mackay Memorial Hospital showed it was unlikely that the accusation of rape was fabricated.

Saying that Fung’s wife had visited Rose and held her while she was crying, the ruling questioned why Fung’s wife needed to console her if Rose had falsely accused Fung.

Fung said yesterday the ruling was ridiculous and that “political motivations” might be involved, adding that he would appeal.

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