Zhongzheng First Police Precinct of Taipei City Police Department. Photo: Google Maps
Zhongzheng First Police Precinct of Taipei City Police Department. Photo: Google Maps

An Indonesian-Chinese translator was arrested in Taiwan on Wednesday over the role he played when assisting police after a 24-year-old Indonesian domestic worker filed a complaint of sexual assault.

The arrest goes back to an incident on April 5, 2017, when an Indonesian maid went to the Zhongzheng First Police Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department to file a charge of sexual assault against her employer.

The 24-year-old Indonesian woman had been working in Taipei City when she alleged she had been indecently assaulted by her 80-year-old employer, The Liberty Times reported. The 54-year-old Indonesian-Chinese man was assigned by police to assist in the investigation as the maid’s interpreter as he was qualified to do the job and was tasked with taking her statement.

The statement turned out to be full of errors and the translator even ended up playing a role in the maid being charged with theft. While the man was taking the maid’s statement, he allegedly handed her a cup of water and said to her in the Indonesian language that he would rape her if she did not drink it.

The maid was later charged with theft because she allegedly took her assailant’s trousers when she made her escape, which contained his mobile phone, keys and NT$2,000 in cash.

The Taoyuan City Employment Service Institute Association, which has been assisting the maid, told the newspaper that she had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since last year and no employer was willing to hire her due to the theft charges.

The association said it hopes justice will be served through the legal system by handling the sexual harassment case and the theft trial.

The interpreter arrested on Wednesday admitted he did say what the maid accused him of saying, but claimed he was only joking.

Taipei Police told the newspaper that although the maid mentioned the alleged indecent assault in her statement, she did not specify that she wanted to press charges against her former employer. She was also wanted by the prosecutor as she failed to appear in court to face the charges of theft.