Taiwan pastor accused of sexual attack on S'porean

TAIPEI - A Singaporean woman met a pastor from Taiwan when he visited the Republic in May 2002.

After finding out that she was a doctor, he asked to meet her in private on the pretext of seeking medical advice. But once they were alone, he sexually attacked her, according to an indictment made public on Wednesday.

Wu Chien-shih, 53 and married, has been charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault on the Singaporean, and a Taiwanese woman. The two cannot be named under Taiwanese law for sex abuse cases.

New Taipei District Prosecutors Office spokesman Lee Hai-lung told The Straits Times on Thursday that Wu allegedly subjected the women to perverse acts, including whipping, sodomy and forcing them to drink semen.

The case came to light last year when the husband of the Singaporean, now in her 40s, encouraged her to come to Taiwan to seek justice. She has suffered severe depression since the alleged attack.

In Taiwan, she found a few other women who claimed to have been assaulted by Wu. They were all members of the New Taipei City-based Christian group, Ji Cheng Holistic Development Centre, where Wu worked. The women sent text messages to Wu to say they knew about his alleged misdeeds. He promptly filed a libel complaint with the police.

The Singaporean and one of the Taiwanese women then jointly sued Wu in December last year.

Wu has denied the charges despite failing a lie- detector test. He is also counter-suing the two women for libel.

But prosecutors believe the case involving the two women may be the tip of the iceberg.

"We may see more victims step forward, now that the case has been made public," said Mr Lee.

According to the indictment, the Singaporean had met Wu at the Tanjong Rhu premises of JC Ministries Inc, a Christian group. It is not known where the alleged attack took place. Wu left Singapore shortly afterwards.

When The Straits Times went to the Tanjong Rhu address, it found that JC Ministries no longer operated there. The place is now occupied by the Pentecostal Christian Community, Christian Philadelphia Fellowship Singapore, Singapore Gospel Church and Flyte Studio, a fitness gym.

A resident who declined to be named said he has rented a room in the three-storey building for more than two years and has not heard of JC Ministries.

In the other incident, the Taiwanese woman was invited to dine with Wu in December 2007, the indictment said. She fell unconscious after drinking some wine. When she came to, she was blindfolded and subsequently sexually assaulted by Wu. She was blackmailed into having sex with Wu on five more occasions, the indictment added.

A spokesman for Ji Cheng, who would only say her surname was Chen, declined to answer questions about the case, including whether Wu still works for the centre. She would only say that the group is "deeply saddened" by the case.

A date for Wu's trial has yet to be set. If convicted, he can be jailed for at least seven years on each of the two counts of aggravated sexual assault.

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