TAIPEI - New Taipei City prosecutors recently indicted a Japanese man employed by Uniqlo for allegedly grabbing a 23-year-old Taiwanese woman from behind and sexually abusing her. The incident was reported to have taken place in the vicinity of Xinpu MRT station on Aug. 13, police said.
The Japanese male suspect, in his mid-thirties, works at an undisclosed branch of Uniqlo in Northern Taiwan. Representatives from the Japanese clothing company stated that the man is currently denying the charges, and action will be taken against him only if he is convicted. However, he is currently not working at the store during the time of the trial, the company said.
The alleged victim said the incident in question occurred soon after she emerged from Xinpu MRT station at night on her way home. After turning down an alley toward her home, she claims she was suddenly bear-hugged by a man, who groped her body with his hands and tried to throw her to the ground. The man ran off after she cried loudly for help. She then promptly called the police to report the attack, the woman said.
Police later confirmed via nearby CCTV camera footage that the Japanese man was walking in the area at the time the incident was reported. When questioned, the married Japanese man claimed that he was headed to a nearby Japanese DVD store. Police confirmed that there was no such DVD store in the area, after which the suspect replied that he discovered he had taken the wrong street and was running back home because his wife was waiting for him.
Initial police estimates of a possible two-year sentence for alleged sexual harassment have been amended during the investigation, as the young woman managed to capture a photo of the back of the man as he ran away. Police also described the Japanese man's excuse for being videotaped while running in the area as "unreasonable." Given the current set of allegations, described as an obscene sexual attack, the suspect could face up to five years in prison.