Taiwan High Court Granted Retrial Based on New DNA Evidence
by Yu Ning Chen
In December 2013, Taiwan High Court granted Chen Long-Qi. a retrial based on new DNA Evidence. Chen became the first person to be granted retrial since the Taiwan Association for Innocence was founded in 2012.
On March 24, 2009, two escorts were raped between 4 to 6 AM in a warehouse that Chen and his friend rented for agricultural products distribution. The victims failed to identify the assailants due to alcohol intoxication.
Chen always maintained his innocence during the investigation and trial. He claimed that he left before the crime to pick up his wife, Ko, at her workplace. Ko’s timesheet corroborated Chen’s words. An eyewitness also testified that Chen was not at the scene. Despite no testimony linking Chen to the crime, the district court and high court found him guilty of gang rape with the other two co-defendants. The decision was solely based on a DNA test which concluded that Chen “cannot be excluded “ from the semen stain found on one of the victims’ underwear . Chen was convicted of gang sexual assault and was sentenced to 4 years in March, 2013.
With help from the Taiwan Association for Innocence, Chen filed a motion for retrial in June, 2013 seeking to retest the DNA evidence. The court authorized a 23 loci STR test on the original mixture DNA sample. The new test result showed that Chen “can be excluded” from the DNA sample. Based on this new piece of evidence, the court granted his motion in December 2013. The retrial will begin this month.