TAIPEI – A well-known Taiwanese playboy vowed to appeal his conviction yesterday after he was sentenced to nearly 80 years in jail for raping and secretly filming more than a dozen women.
Justin Lee, a 29-year-old frequent fixture on Taiwan’s party scene, was convicted of sexually assaulting 14 women and secretly taping them and five others, Taiwan’s High Court said.
“Mr Lee denied the charges of drugging and raping the women,” Lee’s lawyer, Leo Tzou, told AFP.
“We regret that the court did not take into account some of the evidence more favourable for him and the sentencing was much more heavier than we had expected.”
Lee insisted that the acts were consensual and will appeal the ruling, Tzou said.
According to the verdict, Lee, the son of a wealthy businessman formerly on the board of the financial group Yuanta Holdings, brought the victims who were often drunk from night clubs or bars to his apartment.
There, it said, he sexually assaulted them and recorded the acts with unidentified taping devices and his mobile phone.
“Lee disregarded the friendship and trust between him and the victims to sexually assault them when they were mentally or physically incapable and were unable to resist,” the High Court said in a statement. “His crimes are severe.”
The court imposed a sentence of 79 years and seven months. Lee was previously sentenced to 18 years and six months by a district court on nine counts of sexual assault.
However, Lee would only have to serve 30 years under the law, the court said.
Lee was also ordered to compensate the victims a total of Tw$27.75 million ($925,000), the court said in a statement.
Lee was visibly shaken and glaring with his mouth open in disbelief when he heard the verdict, the Taipei Times newspaper quoted witnesses as saying.
Lee’s case was headline news in Taiwan in 2012 after local media reported that he had allegedly made sex videos of some models and actresses after drugging them.
He failed to answer a summons for questioning that year but turned himself in after going into hiding for 20 days and has been detained since.
Lee’s father resigned from his post as a director at Yuanta Holdings after the charges against his son were announced in 2012. – AFP