Court upholds not guilty verdict in morality case

【2004/09/16 Taipei Times】
By Jimmy Chuang
The Taiwan High Court yesterday upheld a district court’s ruling which found National Central University Professor Josephine Ho (何春蕤) not guilty of an offence against morality.

The case first surfaced when a group of lawyers, teachers and parents, led by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Tseng Tsai Mei-tsuo (曾蔡美佐), filed a moral suit against Ho on June 23 last year. According to Taipei Prosecutor Yu Hsiu-duan’s (俞秀端) indictment, Ho posted a link to a Web site called “Beast Love” on the university’s Center for the Study of Sexuality Web page, where Ho has served as the director for four years. The site, which features graphic images and a manual on how to have sex with animals, has sparked debate on the occasionally fine line between pornography and academic research.

“This is a victory for academic freedom,” Ho said. “I will keep fighting against the conservative forces by maintaining my academic research into sex related issues.”
Ho made her remarks in front of the Taiwan High Court yesterday morning after the court rejected prosecutors’ appeal. The professor of English said that she has been bogged down by the case for more than a year interfering with her research and teaching position. She said she was glad now that the case has finally come to an end.
“What did I learn from the case?” Ho said. “It is a sign that many people are still narrow-minded and cannot accept alternative research methods. It is also a sign that our educational efforts are not good enough and a lot of things need to be changed,” she added.

Ho was charged with violating Article 235 of the Criminal Code, which states, “A person who distributes, sells, publicly displays, or by other means shows to another person in an indecent writing, drawing, or other [work] shall be punished.”
Prosecutors did not recommend a sentence for Ho in the event of a guilty verdict.