U.S. national detained for groping women in courthouse

Taipei, An American man attending a hearing at Shilin District Court on charges of groping female pedestrians on Jan. 4 in Taipei was arrested a second time on Tuesday after reportedly groping two female security guards and an interpreter in the courthouse prior to the hearing and remained in detention after failing to post bail.

The 36-year-old man, identified as Joseph Aron, who came to Taiwan in January on a visitors visa was indicted in April by the Shilin District Prosecutors Office for violation of the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act.

After arriving at the district court Aron proceeded to a Post Office counter where he pressed up against a female customer, touched her shoulder, and said, "Good morning, nice to meet you, I'm Tom."

He then proceeded to an entrance where a female security guard was checking people entering the courthouse at an X-ray machine and touched her inappropriately before running into the court building.

Aron subsequently went to a different entrance where another female security guard was manning an X-ray machine and did the same thing, before running away when she called courthouse security for assistance.

Aron then accosted another woman described as a recently graduated university student who was acting as an interpreter at the courthouse. Shortly thereafter he was arrested.

The U.S. national was later referred to prosecutors on charges of sexual assault.

After an interrogation, prosecutors filed a request for his detention but that was rejected by the district court which ruled he be released on NT$30,000 (about US$1,000) bail.

However, as of early Tuesday Aron remained in custody having failed to pay the full amount of the bond.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel