The Ministry of Education (MOE) said Friday that Fu Jen Catholic University's handling of a rape case has violated the law, and it ordered the school to submit a plan addressing its shortcomings before the end of October.
Cheng Nai-wen (???), director of the MOE's Department of Student Affairs and Special Education, said the ministry's gender equality task force ruled that Fu Jen's handling of the rape case violated the Gender Equality Education Act.
The sexual assault case should have been handled by Fu Jen's gender equality committee, but instead, the school left the case to the Department of Psychology, which formed a counseling team, the ministry said.
In addition, the school did not separate the counseling process from the investigation, according to the ministry.
"If Fu Jen's suggested improvements do not meet expectations, the ministry could adopt such measures as cutting its subsidies to the school," Cheng said.
At issue is a case that took place in June 2015 when a student surnamed Wu was allegedly raped by another student, who like Wu was a psychology major, after she got drunk at an event that served alcohol.
Wu's boyfriend, surnamed Chu, posted an article on Facebook in May this year saying that remarks by Hsia Lin-ching (???), dean of the university's College of Social Sciences, in handling the case had dealt the victim a "second injury."
Chu also insinuated in his 8,000-word article that Hsia tried to cover up the case.
The article triggered heated debate for months on the Internet between those who supported Hsia and those who supported the rape victim.
Some of those targeted by Chu in his long statement responded with their own posts on Facebook arguing that Chu's remarks were not consistent with the facts.
In another twist in the case, the victim posted a message on Facebook Wednesday apologizing to Hsia, which triggered even more controversy.
"During my conversation with Hsia, I was indeed hurt, but Hsia has not tried to hush up the matter," the victim wrote.
She said that people formed an opinion during the process that Hsia tried to cover up the case, and the accusations against Hsia were "not my intention."
"But still the professor was hurt, and I want to say sorry to her," the victim wrote.
In response to the apology, some netizens said it was ludicrous for a victim "to be apologetic" and suggested that she was probably "forced to apologize."
Hsia lauded the victim's integrity for taking responsibility in apologizing for the "twisted and slanderous" remarks her boyfriend made in May.
Hsia also stressed that she was invited to join the counseling team, and that she was only a member of the team and had no reason to try to cover up the case.
Meanwhile, Fu Jen University said at a news conference Friday that it will temporarily suspend Hsia from her duties pending an investigation based on considerations of administrative neutrality.
The university said the school's gender equality committee suggested suspending Hsia mainly because she is one of the people under investigation.
Whether Hsia was slandered by Chu's post will also be a focus of the investigation, the school said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel