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Thursday, May 04, 2006                                                                                       View Comments

Former clergyman's jail term extended

Former clergyman Lin Jing-you, charged for molesting an underage girl during his ministry in 2002, was sentenced to an additional year of imprisonment on Wednesday when the Taiwan High Court ruled that he has not demonstrated any remorse for his conduct.

In a preliminary trial, Lin was sentenced to four years in prison,

The court's spokesperson Wen Yao-yuan said as a man of God and also as a director of a Christian based halfway home, Lin abused his position when he engaged in repeated sexual acts with three female patrons. One of the victims was a 14-year-old girl.

"Not only did Lin fail to perform his duties, he took advantage of an ignorant teenager by molesting her on numerous occasions," said Wen, adding that the defendant was also accused of shoving a glue stick into the girl's genitalia.

Wen went on to say the perpetrator had shown no remorse but had tried to justify his behavior by arguing he was seduced by the girl.

"We believe his original sentence of four years was too light," Wen said. Lin will be imprisoned for five years with a chance to appeal.

When the sentence was pronounced, Lin apparently burst into tears and said he was wrongly accused.

Lin made national headlines in the late 90s when he adopted the son of a notorious kidnapper, rapist, and serial killer Chen Jing-hsin. He and his wife were known as a "God fearing" couple for their services in the community.

When his lewd conduct with the teenager was exposed in 2002, Lin was tearfully contrite as he apologized to the public during a press conference.

According to a Chinese-language newspaper report, Lin knelt down and pleaded for forgiveness from the public, the girls, and God. He even took off the cross he wore on chain around his neck and said he was not worthy of being a servant of God.

Lin's attorney argued that although his client admitted to the charges against him, his acts were "within reasonable bounds" because the girls had "thrown themselves at him."

"How many men can withstand the temptations of three solicitous teenage girls who liked to play sex games?" his attorney contended, adding that Lin was a perfect example of a Freudian theory that "men think with their bottom half."

The news article also said many of Lin's fellow Christian clergymen have forgiven him, but suggested that Lin should not return to his post as a counselor for teenage delinquents unless he promises never to work with young girls again under the guise of a clergyman.

Lin is presently serving a 10-month sentence for violation of personal liberty when he and other counselors tried to "correct" a teenage boy by putting a chain around the youth's ankles.