Fri, Jan 12, 2018 - Page 3 News List

High court sentences driver for tourist assault

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced Chan Yu-ju (詹侑儒), driver for Taipei-based Jerry Taxi Tour, to seven years and four months in prison on charges of aggravated sexual assault in the case’s second ruling.

It was a shorter term than the 11-year sentence handed down in the first ruling by the Taipei Shilin District Court in July last year.

Chan, 41, was convicted of sexual assault for using his fingers to penetrate one of three female South Korean tourists in his cab after she became unconscious from a spiked yoghurt drink.

Many members of the public considered the reduced term as too lenient. The ruling led to netizens posting messages that condemned the high court judges for not imposing a more severe punishment, as the case harmed the tourism industry and tainted Taiwan’s image internationally.

The sentence reduction resulted from the high court’s decision to drop charges against Chan for the use of illegal drugs, as he lacked the relevant expertise to know that the sleeping pills that he used to spike the drinks contained ingredients used in category 3 and 4 narcotic drugs.

Chemical residues from category 3 and 4 narcotic drugs, including FM2, were found in the samples taken from the three victims.

Yesterday’s court ruling can be appealed.

Chan did not appear in court for the ruling, as he is still under detention.

According to investigators, Chan was working for a taxi company that specialized in tour services catering to South Korean tourists and he was the driver in charge of taking three South Korean women to attractions around New Taipei City during a one-day tour package in January last year.

During the tour, Chan ground up sleeping pills into a powder and put it into drinks that he offered the women, the investigators said.

After driving back to Taipei, he dropped off the only conscious passenger at the Shilin Night Market and took the cab to an isolated spot where he groped one of the two unconscious women, using his fingers to sexually assault her, the investigation showed.

A medical examination found traces of Chan’s DNA inside the woman, but there was no conclusive evidence of penetration.

Chan told investigators that he was overcome by sexual arousal because a friend had send him a pornographic video.

The case caused outrage in South Korea, with the South Korean government demanding that the Taiwanese judiciary conduct a thorough investigation.

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