People in entertainment circles were shocked to hear of the arrest of the head of the “Techno-Dancing Third Prince” (電音三太子) troupe in Greater Kaohsiung, after he was arraigned on a string of criminal charges on Wednesday.
Tseng Huai-te (曾懷德) once basked in the media limelight, taking his troupe on overseas tours to present a new image of Taiwanese folk culture. His “Shih Yun Techno-Dancing Third Prince Troupe” (世運電音三太子團) performed at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California, and at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.
Tseng is accused of having last year enticed underaged girls to join in sex parties that were fueled by alcohol and recreational drugs.
Police said they believe that his troupe’s business nose-dived after a contractual dispute last year with the agency headed by TV personality Belle Yu (于美人).
Trying to make a comeback, Tseng last year signed with an entertainment company run by Kao Chin-shan (高進山).
In addition to entertainment events, Tseng and Kao allegedly organized sex parties, once at a luxury motel and another time at a hotel in Greater Kaohsiung, enticing girls to join and feeding them drugs, the police said.
Disputes broke out both times when proprietors requested them to settle their bills.
The police report said Tseng allegedly threatened the proprietors and fired a handgun at one hotel’s front door, as well as vandalizing hotel property.
Some of Tseng’s colleagues at the sex parties allegedly paid the girls NT$1,000 or NT$2,000 for sexual services.
However, Tseng allegedly took the money from the girls to keep for himself, police said.
The girls went with their parents to the police to file sexual assault charges, police said.
On Wednesday, police raided the residences of Tseng and Kao and said they found one modified handgun, two cartridges, 18 bullets, ecstasy pills, amphetamines, drug-laced chocolates and other recreational drugs.
Tseng and Kao were arrested along with three other men, a woman and a 17-year-old boy, who were charged with various offenses including assault, extortion and violations of the Children’s and Juvenile’s Sexual Transaction Prevention Act (違反兒童及少年性交易防制條例).
Tseng was quoted as saying that due to the contract dispute, his troupe had very little business since last year and his employees left, so the troupe was later disbanded.
“To escape from the misery and anguish, I became involved in drugs,” he was quoted as saying.
Officials at the Greater Kao-hsiung Bureau of Cultural Affairs said they were shocked to hear of Tseng’s sexual assault charges.
Despite Tseng and his troupe trying to associate themselves with the 2009 World Games, Greater Kaohsiung officials said the city government had no contractual agreement with any troupes for “Techno-Dancing Third Prince” performances in Taiwan or overseas.
The Third Prince performers at the 2009 World Games were students from Kaohsiung Zuoying High School, not dancers from professional troupes, officials said.