Sat, May 20, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Parents of underage sex victim warn suspect still free

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The parents of a sex crime victim in Taipei said they spoke publicly about the crime against their daughter "Amy" because they wanted to warn the public that the man convicted in the case has not been incarcerated and is still on the streets.

The case concerns Kevin Cheng (鄭家堯), 48, who the Taipei Shilin District Court on May 2 found guilty of having sex with a girl under 16 — the age of consent in Taiwan.

The court convicted Cheng for engaging in sex with a minor on at least two occasions, handing out a two-year and eight-month prison sentence. Both Cheng and the girl’s parents said they would appeal the ruling.

Amy’s parents said the intercourse was not consensual, but constituted rape of an underage girl who was naive about her body and had no sexual experience by a depraved, middle-aged man,

“I could not believe Taiwan’s justice system. This man is a convicted rapist, he forced sex on an underage girl. Yet he only got a term of less than three years,” Amy’s father said in a recent interview.

“This is just not right,” said the father, a British national married to a Taiwanese. “A convicted rapist for crimes on underage girls would get at least 10 years in prison in UK.”

“Also he should be locked up now, but he is free to go about his business, pending an appeal in the case, while our daughter suffers psychological damage,” the father added.

“Child rapists would be detained immediately in the UK. If there were sufficient grounds for appeal, which is highly unlikely, it would be made while the offender is serving a custodial sentence behind bars,” he said.

In the UK, pedophiles, once found guilty, would immediately be placed on the “Sex Offenders Register” and could be monitored, he said, adding that unfortunately Taiwan has no such system.

Amy’s parents spoke with anxiety about Cheng’s freedom to move about, despite his conviction.

“It is very worrying, because Cheng lives in Tianmu (天母) and is active in social circles. We want to warn other parents about this case and let people know that Cheng has a preference for going after white Caucasian girls and daughters from mixed-race marriages,” he said.

Cheng got to know Amy’s father four years ago, on a bicycle outing.

“We really regret befriending him and inviting him to our house now, knowing he is a depraved man with a predilection for having sex with underage girls,” Amy’s father said.

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