Seven journalists were indicted yesterday for posting in their newspapers photographs of women allegedly raped and filmed by socialite Justin Lee (李宗瑞).
Taipei prosecutors charged the seven with offenses against privacy, an offense that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
A vice chief editor and two reporters from the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister newspaper), and two vice chief editors and two reporters from the Chinese-language China Times were responsible for the two newspapers posting naked pictures of alleged victims in the case, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said their actions had caused psychological harm to the women.
Meanwhile, 12 netizens suspected of spreading videoclips and pictures allegedly taken by Lee received suspended indictments.
The 27-year-old Lee was charged with sexually assaulting 28 women and filming the acts, and was indicted on six charges of aggravated forcible rape, 12 charges of forcible rape, 10 charges of intercourse with an unconscious person and 17 charges of invasion of privacy.
Prosecutors said Lee was suspected of drugging a number of women in several luxury nightclubs in Taipei since August 2009, taking them home and raping them while they were unconscious.
Some photographs — believed to be stills taken from the videos — were posted on the Internet shortly after Lee went into hiding.
Lee told prosecutors and the Taipei District Court that the women had engaged in consensual sex.
Chen Mei-lan (陳美蘭), who let Lee stay in her home in Changhua County for three weeks while he was in hiding, was sentenced to six months in prison by the Taipei District Court on charges of concealment of offenses and destruction of evidence.
Chen can appeal the ruling to the Taiwan High Court.