A Canadian citizen on a tourist visa, who was restricted from leaving the country while facing charges for sexually harassing two women in Taipei City in April, and then arrested again for harassing a woman on July 10, has been nabbed for the third time, after allegedly squeezing a woman’s buttocks on a bus.
Mounib Bouazza, 27, was arrested yesterday, July 24, after following a woman and attempting to strike up a conversation with her next to the Sanli TV Corporation in Neihu District at around 9:00am. The suspect followed the woman onto a bus. Shortly after the bus departed from the bus stop, the 36 year-old woman called out “color wolf!” – a local term for pervert, after Bouazza allegedly squeezed her buttock for 2-3 seconds. The bus driver responded by driving to the nearest police station where police officers boarded the bus and arrested Bouazza.
Harassment of News Anchor
The police recognized Bouazza as the same man who was arrested after harassing a female TV news anchor July 10. On the day work was cancelled due to Typhoon Maria approaching northern Taiwan, popular news anchor Hsu Yaoyun (許耀云) left work and was followed by Bouazza as she boarded a crowded bus. According to media reports, Bouazza constantly verbally harassed Hsu, demanding that she speak to him.
As the bus was stuck in a traffic jam, Hsu requested the driver to open the door and decided to walk back to the office. Bouazza followed her, continually demanding she respond to him and recording her on his cellphone: “Why don’t you answer me?” Bouazza allegedly demanded, “I know who you are!”
After Hsu returned to the office and requested the help of colleagues, police arrested Bouazza and charged him for violating the Social Order Maintenance Act.
The Third Case
After Bouazza’s arrest yesterday, Bouazza denied having touched the woman. After police showed him video footage from the buses’ security monitor, and pointed out that there were many witnesses, Bouazza claimed that the bus was crowded and that his hand had accidentally come into contact with the woman’s buttocks.
After the interrogation, police attempted to transfer the suspect to the District Prosecutor’s Office to face charges of breaching the Sexual Harassment Prevention Act, but when Bouazza spotted media waiting outside the police station, he refused to leave. After arguing for half-an-hour, police finally provided him with a mask and motorcycle helmet in order to hide his face from media: a courtesy automatically provided for non-foreign suspects.
During proceedings it was found that Bouazza had overstayed his visa, and he was handed over to immigration police for detention.
Taiwan English News removed the report about the suspect’s first alleged attacks in April at the polite request of Mounib Bouazza, due to the fact that he claimed that he was being harassed online, and in the light of the difficulties faced by a foreigner charged with crimes in Taiwan. However, this courtesy has been rescinded in the light of the two incidents this month, and other information provided to Taiwan English News at by reporters at Taiwan News, Taiwan Observer, and by the suspect himself.
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