A man in Hong Kong accused of lying about his sex in order to lure and sexually assault a woman he met on a lesbian dating app has been cleared of the charges after his defense lawyers successfully argued that it was not rape because his female victim was "bisexual."
Tsang Tsz-Ho, 30, met his alleged victim through the social-networking app Butterfly, a Hong Kong-based lesbian forum, in November 2019. They then chatted on another lesbian app called HER, before eventually agreeing to meet in person for a sexual encounter in February 2020.
Evidence from the prosecution demonstrated the victim had, at multiple points in their communication, emphasized she was seeking a female partner, and also that Tsang had advertised himself as a "tomboy" – a term for a female who styles themselves in a masculine fashion.
The two met at Hotel Cozi in Kwun Tong where they engaged in foreplay throughout which Tsang remained clothed. The victim, known as Ms. X, only discovered Tsang was male after he had forcibly penetrated her.
The victim, 20 at the time of the assault, immediately began to push Tsang away, making several attempts before she was able to free herself and escape from the hotel room. She reported her ordeal to police that same day.
The police were able to use semen samples collected from the hotel bed sheet to arrest Tsang on suspicion of rape.
During the trial, Tsang at first argued he did not know the meaning of the words "lesbian" or "tomboy" and had simply been looking to "meet girls," but later was able to define lesbian as "relations between two women."
The prosecution asserted Tsang had known about Ms.X's sexual orientation and had deliberately concealed the fact he was a man in order to lure her to the hotel.
"Ms. X was only willing to engage in intimate conduct with the defendant because she thought the defendant was a woman," the prosecutor told the jury. "Had she known the defendant was a man, X would not have agreed to have sex with him."
But on October 8th, a Hong Kong High Court jury acquitted Tsang, after four hours of closed-door deliberations. Tsang was found not guilty of rape by a vote of five to two, and cleared of indecent assault by a unanimous vote from the jury of six men and one woman.
The defense had successfully argued that the victim was not a lesbian but a bisexual due to past relationship history with men, and therefore had no reason to feel "disgusted" or betrayed by Tsang's sexual advances, concluding that it was simply a "miscommunication."
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