Jerome Lau jailed for indecent assault
Businessman Jerome Lau Ting-sing was released on bail on Thursday, pending appeal, after being jailed for 17 months for indecently assaulting male models and threatening to publicise explicit photos of them.
The Court of Appeal’s Mr Justice Robert Tang Ching said he granted Lau’s application for bail because the earliest day the appeal could be heard would be April next year.
By that time Lau would have served his whole sentence, rendering the appeal meaningless, he said.
After spending about four months in jail, “Dandy Lau”, as the 62-year-old is commonly known, sobbed and shook with emotion as he heard that he would be freed on bail. Lau is appealing against his conviction and the severity of the sentence. He was released on HK$50,000 bail, ordered not to leave Hong Kong and to surrender his travel documents.
About three hours after bail was granted, Lau emerged wearing a fedora, sunglasses, black boots and slim-fit jeans – all supplied by his lawyer – and left in a taxi. More than 20 reporters and photographers had waited for him for hours.
He did not take answer questions, but nodded his head when asked whether the first thing he would do was visit his bedridden 92-year-old mother.
In June, Deputy District Court Judge Ernest Lin Kam-hung jailed Lau as he called him “callous” and “selfish” for preying on young men who aspired to modelling jobs.
“Such behaviour is abhorred by the public and must be discouraged,” said Lin, who criticised Lau for abusing his financial power to exploit the victims. “It is not only illegal but also morally despicable.”
Lau was tried and found guilty on one count of indecent assault against “model A”, and two counts of criminal intimidation against models A and D, between 2003 and 2008.
The court was told that Lau took advantage of the young men’s desire for fame in the modelling and entertainment industry, to trick them into taking explicit photos in compromising poses. More than 60,000 lewd photos of male models were seized from Lau.
Lau’s lawyer, citing his psy-chological report, had earlier told the court that the flamboyant businessman was driven to commit the crimes out of loneliness and low self-esteem. Lau started taking lewd photos of men for sexual gratification in 1988.
A psychologist’s report described Lau as immature, carefree and egocentric.