Prosecutors in Tainan said they would arrange to meet writer Lin Yi-han’s (林奕含) parents in the coming days as part of a probe into allegations that Lin was sexually assaulted by a cram school teacher as a high-school student.
Politicians and the public also demand that the judiciary make a concerted effort to investigate the case.
Lin’s parents on Saturday released a public statement a day after their daughter’s funeral in which they condemned some people for “continuing to act as if they were dumb and mute.”
They said the cram school teacher and his defenders were playing the ignorance card and trying to cover up sexual offenses against Lin and other female students.
“These people continue to say that no teacher used his authority to seduce, rape and sexually abuse female students for many years,” the statement said.
Lin’s father added: “We will fully cooperate with prosecutors [for the investigation].”
The public appearance marked a change, as Lin’s parents had earlier avoided the limelight and have not yet contacted the Tainan District Prosecutors’ Office, saying they wished to keep the family’s grief private and focus on funeral arrangements.
Prosecutors had said they wanted to take Lin’s parents’ statements so they could verify details of the case and press charges against the accused teacher.
Tainan Deputy Chief Prosecutor Chen Chien-hung (陳建弘) confirmed that his office on Tuesday last week summoned the alleged perpetrator, Chinese literature teacher Chen Kuo-hsing (陳國星), also known as Chen Hsing (陳星), for questioning.
Investigators on the same day also searched the 60-year-old teacher’s house in Taipei for evidence and returned to the Tainan office with the teacher’s computer as well as boxes of documents and other materials.
Prosecutors had by then listed the teacher as a defendant in the case, on suspicion of offenses against sexual autonomy, but released him after questioning.
The case came under media attention when Lin apparently committed suicide on April 27.
Her parents at the time said they believed the sexual abuse that had occurred eight or nine years earlier — not depression — had been the main cause of their daughter’s suffering.
They said that what happened to the protagonist in her debut novel was based on her own experience.
The novel, titled Fang Ssu-chi’s First Love Paradise (房思琪的初戀樂園), published in February, is about a young girl who was raped by her teacher.
After the funeral on Friday, Lin’s parents said they plan to establish a foundation in their daughter’s memory “to make the public more aware.... and to stop another ‘Fan Ssu-chi’ case from happening in Taiwan.”
The accused teacher has released a statement denying that he was the protagonist in the novel, but said he had an extra-marital affair with Lin.
However, he said this was when Lin had already finished high school and enrolled in university.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said that shortly after the alleged rape, Lin Yi-han’s family had planned to sue the teacher for sexual assault against an underage girl, but the accused told them there was a lack of evidence and the lawsuit would not succeed.
“It was also because of this that Lin Yi-han could not overcome her depression and attempted suicide at least three times,” he said.
Based on information and tips he had received, the lawmaker also claimed at least three more students had been victimized by the teacher.
“When their families tried to file a lawsuit, they were contacted by gangsters who made threats and said they had nude photos of their daughters, so the families were scared and did not proceed with the lawsuit,” Lin Chun-hsien said.
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