12 arrested over Justin Lee photo leaks
The China Post news staff
September 8, 2012, 12:03 am TWN
The China Post news staff--Police yesterday arrested 12 people, including several university students, for allegedly distributing sex images recorded by date-rape suspect Justin Lee, officials said.
Police officers raided several premises in various parts of Taiwan, including a dormitory in Tainan, where the university students were nabbed, the officials said.
The 12 suspects were later referred to prosecutors for further questioning on charges of hurting social morality and disclosing secrets without authorization, the officials added.
The criminal charges carry with them maximum imprisonment of five years.
Law enforcement authorities have been tracking online distribution of photos videos allegedly taken by Lee to protect the victims in the date-rape case.
The Taipei District Prosecutors Office said disseminating images of sexually abused women would cause further harm to the victims.
Prosecutors warned that downloading the images online through certain software programs will automatically upload them again to the Internet, causing further dissemination of the content.
Meanwhile, prosecutors are still questioning Lee over his alleged crimes.
The suspect still denies that he had drugged and raped the women he had filmed. He insisted it was consensual sex and they agreed to be filmed, according to the United Evening News.
His attorney, Wen Wen, had prosecutors play the videos during the questioning trying to back Lee's claims, the paper added.
But prosecutors challenged his claims, citing testimonies by the victims, the paper said.
Several women have reportedly come forward to accuse Lee of rape, but prosecutors have not disclosed the exact number of possible victims.
Lee has been detained since surrendering to police on Aug. 23. He went into hiding in late July after the images he had taken were widely circulated on the Internet.
His attorney, Wen, disclosed that Lee's parents, worried about his conditions in the detention center, had asked to send him meals.
But Lee, who is denied visitations, except from his attorney, told his parents that the detention center's food was good enough, Wen said.
Lee was seen wearing a surgical mask and a white shirt while being escorted from the detention center to the prosecutors office. He was remanded in custody following questioning.