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Man sentenced to 11 years for abusing stepdaughter to death in southern Taiwan

Mitigating factors in sentencing included his expression of remorse during trial, fact he came from broken home

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(Pingtung District Court photo)

(Pingtung District Court photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Pingtung District Court on Friday (April 15) sentenced a man to 11 years in prison for physical abuse that resulted in the death of his three-year-old stepdaughter last summer.

The girl's mother, surnamed Huang (黃), had been raising her alone before marrying the man, surnamed Fang (方). The three began to live together in a rented house in Pingtung County’s Fangliao Township in June 2020.

According to the sentencing document, the girl, also surnamed Huang, fractured her thigh in a fall at home in March last year. Her thigh had to be put in a cast, which prevented her from walking.

Fang restricted the girl to one room and from June 8-10 beat her severely with household items such as a belt, coat hanger, and mop handle whenever she left the room, causing widespread bruising and multiple injuries. On the night of June 10, Fang found the toddler unconscious and informed Huang, who called for an ambulance.

However, the child died before the ambulance arrived at Fangliao General Hospital. According to her autopsy, she died from a brain injury and intracerebral hemorrhage.

Fang tried to persuade Huang to tell the authorities the girl died from falling down the stairs, the sentencing document states, but she confessed to the police what had really happened.

Fang denied abusing the child during the investigation. However, since he admitted his guilt and expressed remorse during the trial, and due to other extenuating circumstances such as coming from a broken home and having two underage children from a previous marriage being cared for by their grandparents, the district court sentenced him to 11 years. His sentence can be appealed.