Fri, Apr 14, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Prosecutor sentenced to 22 months, fined for having sex with minor, drawing ire

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Taichung District Court on Tuesday sentenced a prosecutor to less than two years in prison and fined him for having sex with a minor, causing some members of the public to accuse the judiciary of being too lenient on its own members.

Tsai Hsiao-lun (蔡曉崙), who worked in the Changhua District Prosecutors’ Office, was convicted on charges of having sex with a minor and of a public official having sex with a minor in breach of the Child and Youth Sexual Exploitation Prevention Act (兒童及少年性剝削防制條例).

Tsai was sentenced to three months in prison and fined NT$90,000 for the first offense, and was sentenced to 19 months in prison for the second offense.

Police monitored Tsai’s communications and gathered evidence before raiding his office and residence in January and detaining him, the ruling said, adding that Tsai was released last month after posting NT$500,000 bail and he was suspended from his post.

Investigators said that Tsai’s friends introduced him to a 17-year-old girl in February 2015 and he had sex with her more than 30 times over past two years, paying her NT$3,500 for each session, which mostly took place at hotels in Taichung.

The ruling said that Tsai, 49, has worked as a prosecutor for more than 10 years and was mandated by his duty to uphold the law as a judicial official.

“However, Tsai disregarded the sacred duties of his office as entrusted by the public, and procured sexual services from a minor and introduced the girl to his friends to procure her for sex,” it said.

“Tsai also advised his associates on how to avoid surveillance by law enforcement agents. He debased his profession and brought dishonor to the civil service,” the ruling added.

However, it said that Tsai has admitted to violating the law and wrote a “statement of repentance,” and reached an agreement with the victim, therefore the court decided to reduce his sentence and allow him to collect half his salary while suspended from duty.

The ruling drew angry reactions from some members of the public.

A number of netizens said that Tsai is a disgrace to the judiciary and called on Minister of Justice Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) to ensure harsher punishments, as the ruling showed that judicial officials are shielding each other.

Other netizens said they should make a complaint to President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) about the ruling, since it pointed to the “dark side” of the judiciary, in which “many corrupt officials” can be found.

Tsai’s push for judicial reform would fail if such people were not rooted out, they said.

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