Mon, Apr 15, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Court clears father and son of sexually assaulting caregiver

By Hsu Cheng-feng and Jonathan Chin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

An 80-year-old man surnamed Hsu (許) and his son were found not guilty of sexually harassing or raping a care worker in their employ, the New Taipei City District Court ruled yesterday, saying that a dispute the caregiver had with the family discredited her testimony.

The care worker, referred to by the pseudonym “Siao Hua” (小花), claimed that during her employment at the Hsu home in 2016 and 2017, she was groped daily by the elder Hsu and twice raped by his son, court documents said.

The verdict, the case’s first, can be appealed to a higher court.

The judges on the court’s collegiate bench said in the verdict that they found the younger Hsu not guilty of sexual assault, adding that prosecutors had not presented any physical evidence or corroboration for Siao Hua’s testimony about being raped.

The prosecutors also did not present evidence to support the molestation allegations against the elder Hsu, they said.

Siao Hua’s testimony that the elder Hsu groped her was contradicted by a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease, which was “sufficient to cause a severe physical handicap,” the judges said.

Her credibility was undermined by a dispute over her Islamic dietary restrictions that she was known to have with the Hsu family, they said.

Although two of Siao Hua’s diary entries in May and June 2016 recorded incidents of alleged sexual molestation, the statutory time limit for the acts expired before the charges were brought in February 2017, they said.

As a result, the court dismissed the charges connected to the acts and the evidence with it, they added.

During the trial, the elder Hsu said that any physical contact between him and the caretaker had resulted from her helping him get around, not from sexual touching.

The son categorically denied the rape charges and said that Siao Hua was giving false testimony to avoid being sacked by the family for incompetence and a lack of motivation.

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