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2 Honduran officers at NDU accused of sexually assaulting woman in Taipei

1 of the officers accused claims alleged sexual assault against Taiwanese woman was 'cultural misunderstanding'

Lopez (left), Mondragon (right). (Photos from Taipei Police and NDU Facebook page)

Lopez (left), Mondragon (right). (Photos from Taipei Police and NDU Facebook page)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Two officers from Taiwan's diplomatic ally Honduras who have been studying at National Defense University (NDU) are facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a Taiwanese woman in Taipei, but one of the men claims it was a "cultural misunderstanding."

According to local media reports, a Honduran military officer surnamed Mondragon (Chinese surname 孟達貢) first arrived in Taiwan to begin studies at NDU in 2015, when he received high praise for his Chinese skills. However, on Tuesday (Dec. 3), he and his Honduran cohort at the university, surnamed Lopez (Chinese surname 羅培茲), were transferred to the Taipei District Prosector's Office to be investigated for sexual assault before being released, reported SET News.

The two men had allegedly met the woman through an online dating app and agreed to first meet in person at a hamburger shop. The three then agreed to go to a love hotel in Taipei's Wanhua District, home to one of the city's main red light districts, reported Apple Daily.

The men claim that Mondragon first engaged in consensual sex with the woman before asking her if Lopez could participate. Lopez claims that he was not interested and that he abstained from having intercourse with the woman, according to the report.

However, the woman alleges that the two men raped her, and after leaving the hotel, she filed a report with the police. When Mondragon was arrested and questioned by police, he claimed that the incident was only a "misunderstanding caused by cultural differences," reported Liberty Times.

At 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Mondragon and Lopez were transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated for sexual assault. They were initially ordered to pay NT$50,000 (US$1,600) in bail each, but because Mondragon was unable to raise enough funds, the prosecutor changed his terms to house arrest, according to the report.

When the two suspects exited the prosecutor's office, they were accompanied by military personnel. NDU officials on Wednesday (Dec. 4) said that they will fully cooperate with the judicial unit on the investigation and handling of the case.