TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Prosecutors allege that a convicted sex offender who kidnapped a teenage middle school student forced his captive to take drugs and wear a “shock collar,” while only giving her one meal over the course of nearly three days.
On Wednesday (Sept. 2), Kaohsiung District Court approved prosecutors’ request to keep 31-year-old Lo Yu-hsiang (羅育祥) in custody and restricted communication. Prosecutors are investigating Lo for child abduction (準略誘罪), violating the victim’s right to sexual autonomy (妨害性自主), obstruction of her personal freedom (妨害自由), and violating the Narcotics Hazard Prevention Act (毒品危害防制條例) by possessing illegal drugs.
The charges are all related to the sudden disappearance of a 14-year-old girl surnamed Liu (劉) who went missing for 66 hours, until she was found in a hidden room inside an apartment in which Lo was residing in on Tuesday (Sept. 1).
During a court hearing on Wednesday, Lo acknowledged that he committed abduction but denied all the other charges, reported UDN. He claimed that he wanted to befriend Liu and engage in sexual intercourse with her but would not force her to do so without against her will.
As for the category 4 narcotic Alprazolam, which was found in his apartment, Lo claimed he bought it to suppress his anxiety and denied knowing it was classified as an illegal drug. Lo claimed that Liu proactively expressed the desire to take the drug before he gave it to her.
However, Liu denied that she had consumed the drug. Investigators have taken blood samples from both Liu and Lo to determine if they had any drugs in their system, and the results of the tests have yet to be released.
According to a preliminary investigation, when Lo worked as a district manager in a security company, he used his position to lure young girls seeking jobs in the firm. It was through this method in 2018 that he met his then 17-year-old wife, who became a secretary at the company.
In two separate incidents that same year, he interviewed two different middle school girls. In both cases, he provided them with beverages that were laced with an incapacitating agent; Lo then proceeded to sexually assault them and document the act with photos and videos.
The Taipei District Court found Lo guilty of sexual assault, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, the case is currently under appeal.
In May of this year, he allegedly constructed the secret chamber as he planned to hide there to avoid being sent to prison. When his wife learned of the news of his conviction, she fled to her mother’s home.
Similar to his tactics in the past, Lo met Liu online and allegedly told her she could work for him playing video games and sent a mobile phone, cell number, and cash. On Saturday afternoon, she took a THSR train from Kaohsiung to Hsinchu, but once she stepped into a waiting car with an unknown driver, her family and friends did not hear from her again, prompting them to contact police.
After tracking down and questioning two of Lo’s friends, surnamed Lu (盧) and Wang (王), late on Monday evening (Aug. 31), police were finally able to determine the whereabouts of the girl and Lo. At about 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning, police found the student and Lo on Zhongxing Road in Hsinchu County’s Zhudong Township.
According to Liu’s father, Liu said that she had only eaten one meal during the entire ordeal, but was given water, reported Newtalk. Knowing that she had to remain calm and not agitate her captor, she said she did not make any noise and tried to avoid conflict with him.
Liu also alleged that Lo forced her to wear a black metal collar, which he claimed would deliver an electric shock if she did not follow his instructions, while he also brandished a rusty box cutter at her. Police were later able to locate the collar, but it was found incapable of delivering an electric shock as he had allegedly claimed.