Thu, Dec 05, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Officers face sexual assault charges

OUT ON BAIL:Two foreign officers studying in Taiwan have been released on bail, as police investigate their alleged involvement in a sexual assault case in Taipei

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Two foreign military officers studying at National Defense University who were accused of sexually assaulting a woman were on Tuesday released on bail after being questioned at the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office.

A woman, identified as “Hsiao Hsuan” (小萱), accused the pair of sexually assaulting her at a Taipei hotel over the weekend.

However, some local Chinese-language media reported that the alleged assault took place at a nightclub.

The men were released after posting bail of NT$50,000 each.

Prosecutors said the officers could face charges of sexual offenses and imposed travel restriction on them.

The men, one of whom is a lieutenant colonel, are enrolled in a master’s program at the Graduate Institute of Strategic Studies and International Affairs at the school in Taoyuan’s Bade District (八德).

They are exchange students from the Dominican Republic and arrived in Taiwan in 2015, when the Caribbean nation was still Taiwan’s diplomatic ally, local media reported.

However, another source said that they were from Honduras.

The lieutenant colonel has denied the accusation and said the complaint stemmed from a misunderstanding and a verbal dispute between clients at a nightclub, prosecutors said.

The man said Hsiao Hsuan accused them with sexual assault to take revenge, they added.

However, there were conflicting reports on where and how the alleged incident took place.

Some media outlets reported that the alleged assault took place at a hotel after Hsiao Hsuan met the men on an online dating site.

She reportedly agreed to meet with the lieutenant colonel at the hotel on Sunday, but the officer arrived with a friend.

Hsiao Hsuan did not consent to having sex with both men, but was forced to do so, during which she sustained minor injuries, and filed a complaint with the police, local media said.

National Defense University in a statement said that the case is under judicial investigation, adding that it would cooperate with the probe.

The exchange program has been running for several decades, allowing the nation’s allies to send top students for officer training, with courses in political warfare and military strategy, as well as undergraduate and graduate programs.

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