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Nurse uncovers sexual assaults at special needs center in eastern Taiwan

Nurse uncovered evidence that chief administrative officer of a special needs center had molested at least 4 female residents in Hualien

(Stock image from Tinker Air Force Base)

(Stock image from Tinker Air Force Base)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A nurse at a special needs institution has uncovered evidence of sexual assaults allegedly perpetrated on at least four female residents at the facility by the head administrator, reports Apple Daily.

A 38-year-old woman surnamed Wu (吳), who is a certified nurse and dietitian and has worked in the nursing for 18 years, began working in a special needs facility in Hualien in July of last year. On April 30 of this year, while bathing a female resident with an intellectual disability, she suddenly said "Uncle Chang" (60-year-old chief administrative officer of the hospital) touched me.

Fearing that this was a serious matter, Wu then asked some other female residents with intellectual disabilities. Two adult women also said, "Uncle Chang rubbed by breasts and then my lower body."

In one particularly brazen incident Chang is alleged to have committed in his office, he molested one woman, while the other stood on the other side of the curtain. After, he finished molesting the first woman, he then called in the next woman to molest her as well.

Wu said that the residents told her that the institution's director had heard them talk about Uncle Chang molesting them, but did not believe them. Fearing for the welfare of the children kept her up at night, so after getting permission from the residents, she chose May 1st, when many colleagues were on vacation,to record accounts of sexual assault given by the victims.

The next day, she submitted her resignation and reported her findings to the Social Affairs Department, which handed the matter over to the police.

Wu said that as the police prepared to question the victims in person, other teachers allegedly threatened them saying, "those who dare to testify will be driven out." The residents were frightened, and cried as they said that they did not dare speak to her.

She begged them to trust her and said that she was there to protect them. It was only then that they trusted her to speak up and provide her a full account of the the assaults.

Wu said that the residents would say to her, "No one believed us before, and even if they knew, they never dared to testify." During her search for evidence, Wu discovered that Chang's victims included one married woman, and three women between the ages of 14 and 30, and that the sexual assaults took place in his office, public restrooms and residents' quarters.

When Wu asked the staff in the institution to help testify about abuses of the children, she says that they all rejected her. As for rumors that her actions were all some sort of act of revenge, she emphasized that she quit for the sake of the children and had no feelings of resentment against the organization itself.

Hualien police said that on May 3 it received a report from the Hualien Social Affairs Department which included testimonies on sexual assaults by two victims. Subsequently, a task force was set up to investigate the situation and two more victims were later identified.

On May 21, Chang was sent to the prosecutor's office for violating the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act (性騷擾防治法) on charges of aggravated sexual assault, abuse of authority in sexual misconduct.

In response to the charges, the director of the center said that Chang had been suspended from his position for the investigation, the case has entered the judicial process, they would not make any additional comments.

Hualien County Councilor Lin Tsung-kun (林宗昆), who is helping with the investigation into the case, said, "Society unexpectedly has this kind of scum, it's awful!"

The Social Affairs Department of Hualien County said that the victims have already been transferred to other institutions and social workers have been sent to provided counseling for them. As Chang has not yet been prosecuted, other teachers at the facility are also being investigated to see if they had knowledge about his alleged sexual assaults.