The New Taipei District Court yesterday found Su Chien-hua (蘇建華), 35, and his wife, Hsu Ya-chu (許雅筑), 32, guilty of sexual assault, fraud, attempted fraud and forced indecent assault, handing down a 27 year, 6 month prison term for Su and a 22-year term to Hsu.
It was the first ruling on the case and it can be appealed.
Prosecutors said Su claimed to be a holy man and he took the title the “Dragon King” (龍王), as he and his wife operated a shrine at his residence in New Taipei City’s Lujhou District (蘆洲), starting in 2013.
Borrowing religious practices and rituals from Taoist-Buddhist mystical sects, Su deceived worshipers into believing that he had divine powers and that he could communicate with the spiritual realm, the indictment said.
It said Su duped at least 13 female worshipers into engaging in sex with him by telling them that they were cursed with bad fortune, or were possessed by evil spirits, and that he had the divine power to rid them of the malevolent forces.
Su was found to have conducted so-called “one-on-one sessions” with female worshipers, in which the woman was told to strip naked, then Su drew Taoist esoteric drawings and performed his own “rituals” on the woman’s body.
After that, he would touch and massage the woman’s body, then would have sex with the victim, the indictment said.
Su and his wife also allegedly demanded that worshipers pay monthly “offerings” and provide signed checks as financial donations to the “Dragon King,” in return for which Su promised spiritual protection and good fortune.
The indictment said that the couple received a total of NT$3.18 million (US$94,923) from their victims, while the signed checks amounted to more than NT$10 billion when the case came to light in April last year.
The court yesterday said Su and his wife had “desecrated religion.”
“The couple operated the shrine as their main occupation... which they used to defraud money and mislead worshipers,” the ruling said.
“The couple took advantage of the victims’ beliefs in traditional folk religion, and their desire to change and renew their lives, whereby Su made numerous sexual assaults on the female victims, resulting in mental and physical harm to the victims,” it said.
The couple also secretly filmed Su’s sexual activities with female worshipers, violating the privacy of the victims, and the couple had shown no remorse for their crimes during the investigation, the ruling said.
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