Date
8 December 2016
The defendant pleaded guilty to indecent assault, and the judge sentenced him to 200 hours of community service. Photo: Commercial Radio
The defendant pleaded guilty to indecent assault, and the judge sentenced him to 200 hours of community service. Photo: Commercial Radio

DOJ says sentence for sex offender ‘too light’, mulls appeal

The Department of Justice plans to appeal a sentence handed down by a court to a man convicted of indecent assault, saying community service is too light a sentence for the gravity of the offense.

The case involves a 34-year-old man surnamed Li, who was sued by a woman for sexually assaulting her at a darts shop run by him in an industrial building in San Po Kong on March 18, 2014, Apple Daily reports.

The victim had told the court that she accepted two drinks offered by the defendant, after which she passed out on a sofa.

After she woke up the next morning, she felt feeble and found her pants seemed to have been taken off.

Suspecting that Li sexually assaulted her, the woman reported the matter to the police with help of her boyfriend.

A forensic doctor testified that traces of a sedative was found in her system and the defendant’s semen was also found near her vagina.

The defendant denied a rape charge but pleaded guilty to indecent assault.

The judge sentenced him to 200 hours of community service.

The victim, who turned to newly elected Democratic Party lawmaker Roy Kwong Chun-yu for help, said the light sentence caused her deep anguish and was tantamount to harming her for a second time.

Kwong said the court’s sentence was really hard to be accepted by the public. He pledged to work with civic groups to study how to better protect victims of sex crimes.

Eric Cheung Tat-ming, principal lecturer at the University of Hong Kong and a member of the Law Reform Commission, also said a jail sentence was more appropriate for the offense, Ming Pao Daily reported.

The case is even more serious than indecent assaults occurring in MTR stations and trains, for which offenders normally get a jail term, Cheung said.

The justice department said it has requested for the records of the hearings of the case from the original court, which it intends to review before making a final decision on whether to go to the Court of Appeal.

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TL/AC/CG

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