The Taipei District Court yesterday sentenced Chang Tzu-yen (張子彥) to six years in prison for placing hidden cameras in school and public toilets to secretly film women and girls, as well as circulating the recordings.
Two years of the sentence can be commuted to a fine and the ruling can be appealed.
Prosecutors had asked for a harsh punishment as a deterrent after an investigation found that Chang, 26, secretly filmed more than 160 girls and women mainly in Taipei and New Taipei City.
The court said that it found Chang, a recent graduate of the National Taipei University of Technology, guilty of violating the personal privacy of the victims.
Investigators had found the videos stored in Chang’s computer and tried to identify the victims, including junior-high school students and university students, as well as a police officer.
Forty of the victims filed judicial complaints against Chang.
During the court hearing, one of victims testified that she suffered mental anguish and has been afraid of going to public toilets since the incident.
One victim was quoted as saying: “When the video was shown to me, it felt like I was being raped. This man is a pervert.”
Another at the court hearing said: “I feel quite sick seeing Chang here in court. He must receive a heavy punishment for what he has done... Now I need a friend to accompany me when I use a public toilet.”
Investigators found that Chang started secretly filming women and girls in 2015.
He was caught in April 2018 when a cleaner found a hidden camera, including memory cards, inside a women’s restroom at National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Medicine.
The camera was traced to Chang and police in a search of his apartment in New Taipei City found more explicit videos of unidentified women in his computer.
Investigators examining the footage determined that Chang had sneaked into women’s restrooms on the NTU campus and other Taipei universities, as well as Taipei First Girls’ High School and Taipei Zhongshan Girls’ High School.
He also placed cameras inside the public bathrooms of city government buildings in Taipei and New Taipei City, they said.
Chang rated the women in the videos according to their attractiveness, and tracked some of them through social media to learn their identities, investigators said.
He allegedly followed them and took their photographs for his categorized video files, they said.
Investigators found that Chang had passed on the videos to at least two of his friends for their viewing.
They also found Chang followed high-school dance clubs’ social media pages to find out where they were practicing and installed hidden cameras inside the bathrooms at those locations.
A study published by online booking platform Expedia revealed searches for travel to Taipei have ballooned 2,786 percent following the lifting of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions due to the city being a “designation dupe” for Seoul. The TikTok trend for duping — referring to substituting a designation for a more inexpensive alternative — helped propel interest in Taipei, it said in a consumer survey titled “Unpack ‘24,” which was conducted from September to October in 14 countries. Location dupes are “every bit as delightful as the tried-and-true places travelers love,” Expedia trend tracker Melanie Fish said of the year’s popular alternatives, which
SAFETY IN REGULATION: The proposal states that Chiayi should assess whether it is viable to establish such a district and draft rules to protect clients and sex workers The Chiayi City Council passed a motion yesterday to assess the viability of establishing a regulated red-light district. The council yesterday held its last session of the year, at which its fiscal 2024 budget was approved, along with 61 other proposals. The proposal to assess the viability of establishing a red-light district was put forward by independent Chiayi City Councilor Molly Yen (顏色不分藍綠支持性專區顏色田慎節). The proposal cited 2011 amendments to the Social Order Maintenance Act (社會秩序維護法), which stipulate that city and county governments can pass autonomous regulations on the sex trade to manage the industry and guarantee industry workers’ rights. A ban on the
CHINA illness surge: Of 88 travelers from China, Hong Kong and Macau with respiratory symptoms who were encouraged to get tested upon arrival, 70.6% had the flu Two hundred and sixty people with COVID-19 were hospitalized and 31 deaths related to the virus were reported last week — the highest numbers in four weeks, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday, adding that cases are expected to peak next month. CDC Epidemic Intelligence Center Director Guo Hung-wei (郭宏偉) said that of the 260 people hospitalized last week with moderate to severe COVID-19, 98 percent had not received the Omicron XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine. Among the people hospitalized this year, 78 percent were aged 65 or older, while most of the those who were hospitalized or died have or had
A small-scale protest that called on the government to cancel its plan to welcome Indian migrant workers in a bid to tackle Taiwan’s labor shortage was held in Taipei yesterday. During the protest, comprised of a few dozen people staged in front of the Presidential Office on Ketagalan Boulevard, the protest’s chief initiator, a woman identified only as “Yuna” said they wanted the central government to reconsider allowing migrant workers from India to enter Taiwan. Most people in Taiwan had little knowledge about the potential plan to allow in Indian migrant workers until a report in the media last month, she