Hong Kong man acquitted in feng shui sex scam case as judge finds accuser also intended to ‘fool around’
Ruling states prosecution failed to prove defendant’s motives and duo had behaved like ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’
A designer accused of convincing a woman to have sex with him by claiming his “altar ceremonies” could salvage her estranged relationship with her boyfriend walked free from the District Court yesterday.
The court heard earlier that Joey Lo Wai-leuk, 44, who claimed to know feng shui and astrology, told the woman that he could summon her boyfriend’s spirit to possess him during intercourse.
He was acquitted of four counts of procuring unlawful sexual acts by false pretence over four sexual encounters with the woman in a Tsuen Wan love hotel in 2014, and one further count of indecent assault.
In clearing Lo, Judge Josiah Lam Wai-kuen wrote that he found it impossible for the woman – referred to as X in court to protect her identity – to buy into Lo’s claims.
“The prosecutors cannot prove the defendant himself did not believe in the [ritual] and purely wanted to deceive X into having sex with him,” Lam wrote.
He noted one of the four encounters between the pair took place on “Boxing Day” – words that in colloquial Cantonese sounded phonetically similar to a slang term meaning “to have intercourse”.
The judge said that this called into question X’s intentions when she went on to have sexual intercourse with the defendant despite claiming how much she loved her boyfriend and knowing the sexual connotations behind the slang.
“This demonstrates they both just wanted to fool around,” the judge said.
But he also criticised Lo for not telling the whole truth.
The defendant fought back tears after the court declared him innocent.
Through his lawyers, he questioned the prosecutors’ request to delete about 180 photographs – some of which were naked pictures of X – on his mobile phones seized as exhibits, before they were returned to him.
The judge said in response: “[He] should feel fortunate that I did not confiscate his phones.”
During the trial, the court heard that X met Lo at Ming Dao Hotel in Tsuen Wan on four occasions in 2014 for oral sex and unprotected sexual intercourse.
She had complained to him about troubles with her boyfriend – 12 years her senior – who had a run-in with the law over speeding and was having an affair.
The last encounter between Lo and X took place even after X broke up with her boyfriend.
X claimed that Lo had said he needed to “clear the magic” inside her.
She paid him HK$1,000 each time to show her sincerity.
At one point, she sent scantily clad and naked pictures of herself daily to Lo at his request to increase the effectiveness of the religious rituals.
But the judge said two photos showed a fully clothed X sticking her tongue out at the camera.
“It’s as if this was a product of a boyfriend and girlfriend flirting with each other,” he said.