The Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office on Tuesday said it had launched an investigation into sexual assault allegations made on social media against Sakuliu Pavavaljung, a Paiwan artist who received a National Award for Art in 2017.
The announcement came a day after the National Culture and Arts Foundation and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum canceled Pavavaljung’s sponsorships for next year’s Venice Bienniale in Italy and Documenta Fifteen in Kassel, Germany.
On Thursday last week, artist Kuo Yu-ping (郭俞平) wrote on Facebook that a Paiwan cultural icon was being shielded by community leaders from the consequences of raping a 19-year-old protege.
Photo: CNA
Kuo used a pseudonym for the alleged culprit.
The cultural icon lured the young woman to a remote mountain and took away her digital devices before physically overpowering her, Kuo said.
Three days later, a person with the Facebook account name Yueh Lien Yu (余悅廉) wrote that Pavavaljung attempted to assault her 15 years ago on a secluded beach near Taitung County’s Dulan Township (都蘭) and included the MeToo hashtag.
Pingtung District Prosecutors’ Office lead prosecutor Chen Yi-li (陳怡利) said that the allegations against Pavavaljung are being investigated as the 20-year statute of limitation on crimes against sexual autonomy has not yet expired.
A Pingtung County Ligan Police Precinct spokesman said that police are tracking down the alleged victim referred to in Kuo’s post.
No additional information would be provided due to privacy concerns, the spokesman said.
Yu had not lodged a criminal complaint over the alleged rape, but would be contacted as part of the inquiry, they said.
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