Hong Kong fire department investigates alleged sex assault video incident

Footage leaked online showed two men with their private parts exposed as others around them laughed; there have been similar cases in the past

PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 8:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 03 October, 2016, 11:52pm

The Fire Services Department is investigating an alleged sexual assault after a video showing two suspected firemen without their trousers on was leaked online on Monday.

The video, which lasts for about 30 seconds, showed individuals at the scene mocking the two, whose exposed private parts were covered with black marks.

The first man, who was wearing a blue T-shirt with the department logo and lying on a bed, tried to cover his naked lower part with his hands, which were moved away by someone else. He yelled while the others were laughing.

The second man, who was in a navy polo top with the departmental logo, was unable to move after he was held by another person. Hands were seen pulling down his trousers until his private parts were exposed.

A department spokeswoman said an investigation committee had been set up to look into the matter, although it did not receive any complaints or related pictures.

“The department attaches great importance to discipline. We handle the matter seriously if anyone breaches disciplinary rules,” the spokeswoman said.

The case came to light after seven firemen were suspended from duty last October over an alleged sexual assault against a fireman, who claimed mint oil was put on his genitals.

Photos of a separate incident within the department, including one showing a cream-like substance being smeared on a fireman’s bottom, were also leaked.

Police said investigations into the two earlier cases were halted as there was not enough evidence to bring charges.

A source close to the latest incident said the department was trying to verify the identities of the men in the video, whose images were blurred.

“We do not know which stations they are from and when the video was taken,” said an insider. “But we will handle the matter seriously as the actions in the video appeared to have violated our disciplinary rules,” the source said.

A fire services union said the actions were unacceptable if the men involved were confirmed to be fire service personnel.

“No matter whether it was filmed at work or in someone’s spare time or it was a case of humiliation or made just for fun, what happened in the video was intolerable,” said Yang Kin-sang, the chairman of the Hong Kong Fire Services Officers Association.

“They are all adults. Members of disciplinary forces should watch their conduct as they should maintain greater integrity.”

Yang said he had never come across a case like this in his 30 years in the service, and worried that the younger generation in the force might have looser discipline.