TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- An American male tourist is to serve a total of 5 months in prison, unless he can pay NT$150,000 (US$4,860) in equivalent fines, before being deported from Taiwan for committing for acts of sexual harassment.
Joseph Aron, 36, has been convicted of violating the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act for two cases of sexual assault which took place on Jan. 4 in which he groped the breasts and buttocks of two women near the R5 exit of the Zhongshan MRT Station on Jan. 4. On Sept. 3, he was sentenced to two months in prison for each offense, which was reduced to three months or the option of paying an NT$90,000 fine, reported UDN.
Surveillance footage of Aron accosting a woman in January.
He was then convicted on two more counts of violating the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act for grabbing the buttocks of a female bailiff and a female interpreter in Shilin District Court on May 21 while facing the original charges, reported CNA. For these additional acts, he was sentenced to two more months in prison, which could be commutable to a fine of NT$60,000.
Aron tried to appeal the charges, but was denied by the court and the case was closed. Unless Aron can raise funds for the fines, he will serve five months in prison before being deported from Taiwan.
After Aron committed the crimes, no attempt was made on his part to reconcile with the victims or offer compensation. One victim therefore filed a civil suit with Aron a few days ago, reported China Times.
Police speaking to Aron (left). (Images from Gangs of Tianmu Facebook page)