Taiwanese playboy to appeal 80-year sentence for multiple rapes

Well-known Taiwanese playboy Justin Lee vowed to appeal his conviction on Wednesday after he was sentenced to nearly 80 years in jail for raping and secretly filming more than a dozen women.

The 29-year-old, a fixture in the country's party scene, was convicted of sexually assaulting 14 women and secretly taping them and five others. Some of the women were models and actresses.

"Mr Lee denied the charges of drugging and raping the women," said his lawyer, Mr Leo Tzou.

"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 insists the acts were consensual and will appeal the ruling, Mr Tzou said.

He disregarded the friendship and trust

Lee, the son of a wealthy businessman, brought the victims who were often drunk, from night clubs or bars to his apartment. There, he sexually assaulted them and recorded the acts with his mobile phone and other devices.

The High Court said in a statement: "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."

"His crimes are severe," it said, sentencing him to 79 years and seven months in prison. The court added that under the law, Lee would have to serve only 30 years.

He was previously sentenced to 18 years and six months by a district court on nine counts of sexual assault.

Detained since 2012

The playboy was also ordered to compensate his victims a total of Tw$27.75 million (S$1.16m), the court said in a statement.

Taipei Times reported that Lee was visibly shaken and glared with his mouth open in disbelief when he heard the verdict.

Lee went into hiding for 20 days in 2012 before turning himself in to authorities. He has been detained since. 

His father resigned from his post as a director at Yuanta Holdings after the Lee's charges were announced.

Source: AFP

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