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Authorities nabbed the girlfriend of Justin Lee, the suspect wanted for alleged date rape and secretly recording sexual intercourse with partners, in Kaohsiung, yesterday.
The authorities believed Joyce Lai had assisted Lee's flight from the law after an arrest warrant was issued against him on Aug. 1.
Lai was also found to be a fugitive herself. She had been sentenced to 3 years and six months by the Supreme Court for drug dealing.
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Prosecutors are investigating rumors that nude photographs of sexual assault victims were leaked to tabloids from a local police department. A local Taiwanese newspaper on Tuesday published explicit sexual photos of the victims who were allegedly raped while unconscious by Lee. Following their publication, the Internet exploded with requests for links to the photos.
Taipei Police Commissioner Huang Sheng-yuang stated that investigators of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) under the Taipei Police Department are looking closely into some 10 officials who participated in collecting the evidence from Lee's computer and hard drives. An official from the CID, Huang Ming-chou, later professed his belief in the officials' innocence, claiming that a background analysis of the photos from the police division and the tabloid revealed that the pictures were not identical.
Prosecutors have also summoned three reporters and the editor-in-chief of the tabloid as defendants responsible for publishing the photographs. The reporters denied knowledge of the source of the photos and were later released on NT$30,000 bail.
Internet users bombarded websites with links of the nude pictures after the publication of the photos. Unlike the past "Chu Mei-Feng sex disc" incident, in which the video spread through hard copies, these spread quickly through advanced social media technology, such as mobile phone apps, Facebook and free websites designed to provide links to popular subject matter.
The police have warned Web users that such behavior could be considered illegal and might violate right to privacy and public lewdness laws. Prosecutors have also pledged to take drastic measures if they find people who are sharing or downloading such content. Violators could face up to five years in prison for such actions, they said.
Justin Lee recently became a notorious public figure after videos of him allegedly raping women while they were unconscious were revealed.
Lee was summoned again by prosecutors after another victim accused him of videotaping their intimate tryst. The police were alarmed to find that Lee had gone missing after they searched his house following his failure to comply with the summons. Police issued an arrest warrant, declaring Lee a wanted man on Aug. 1.