TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A college student who stirred controversy by flashing cosplay event attendees in Taipei last summer has been handed a three-month jail sentence, which can be commuted to a fine.
On July 4 last year, during the Petit Fancy 32 at the Expo Dome of Taipei Expo Park, a 23-year-old woman surnamed Li (李) struck a number of poses that exposed her naked lower body to a crowd of onlookers and photographers. During questioning by police, her 31-year-old boyfriend, surnamed Lo (駱), claimed he had warned Li about the risk of public exposure and that it was only when she turned around or the wind blew that her buttocks were unintentionally revealed.
On July 5, the woman responded to criticism on social media by saying she was just "being herself" and that she had nothing to apologize for. After investigating the incident, prosecutors charged Li with public indecency (公然猥褻罪).
During a court session last October, the judge told her that she was still young, a student, had no criminal record, and might have misunderstood the legal provisions, reported the Liberty Times. He said that if she confessed to the crime, her attitude would be taken into consideration and she may be handed a lighter sentence.
However, Li refused to plead guilty, arguing that she did not "knowingly expose herself." Li refuted her boyfriend's claims that she had accidentally exposed herself and argued that "the law does not prohibit not wearing underwear," reported SET News.
She claimed that she had just been adjusting her posture when she was "secretly photographed." She alleged one of the photographers later had a dispute with her online and publicly defamed her over the incident.
According to the investigation, Li had not been invited to attend the event and came dressed as her own "character" wearing a short sailor girl dress and a light-blue wig. During questioning, she told police that she had a "habit of not wearing underwear."
Li claimed that she had only been posing for her boyfriend's photos and that she had not anticipated they would be circulated on the internet. She accused others of taking them "secretly."
However, based on witness statements and photos taken at the scene, the prosecution concluded that Li had deliberately lifted up her skirt and exposed herself. Therefore, they concluded that she was guilty of public indecency.
On Jan. 12, the Taipei District Court agreed with the prosecutors' assessment and sentenced her to three months in prison, which is commutable to a fine of NT$90,000. Li can appeal the court's verdict.