SEXUAL ASSAULT

Mentally disabled patients arrested over indecent assault of hospitalised boy, 17

Victim had been staying in the same ward as the four suspects

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 January, 2017, 5:45pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 January, 2017, 7:19pm

Hong Kong police have arrested four mentally disabled patients on suspicion of indecently assaulting a 17-year-old boy in a public hospital.

The incident happened in Kowloon Hospital on Argyle Street, Kowloon City, the Post learned, and the four male suspects and victim were mentally disabled patients in the hospital. The boy was admitted in December.

The case came to light when the victim told his mother about the incident, prompting her to file a complaint with the hospital. The hospital filed a police report on Saturday.

Without identifying the hospital by name, police said in a statement that “initial police investigation showed the victim was indecently assaulted by the four men between December and this month”.

Detectives from the Kowloon West regional crime unit were then tasked to look into the case.

After investigation, police arrested the four male suspects aged between 38 and 56 in Kowloon City on Thursday and Friday, police said.

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It was understood the four men were patients at Kowloon Hospital and that officers took them from the hospital to the crime unit’s headquarters, where they were arrested.

On Friday afternoon, the four suspects were being held for questioning, and none of them had been charged.

A police source said the four suspects were likely to be released on bail as officers needed more time to collect evidence.

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A hospital spokesman said a complaint was received on January 7 from a male patient’s relative; the complainant suspected the patient had been sexually harassed by four other male patients. The spokesman said the hospital immediately reported the matter to the police and had notified the Hospital Authority head office.

The hospital pledged to fully cooperate with the police, he added, and would remain in close contact with the victim.

He said the hospital had formed an expert panel to review possible factors leading to such an incident and would propose measures for improvement.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Cheung