Joyous Buddha, Holy Father, and Dragon God Desiring Sex: A Case Study of Rape by Religious Fraud in Taiwan (刑法第221條在宗教騙色案件中的適用:宗教自由視野下的分析)

13(2) National Taiwan University Law Review 183-237 (2018)

55 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2019 Last revised: 6 Apr 2019

See all articles by Jianlin Chen

Jianlin Chen

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School

Date Written: October 1, 2018


English Abstract: This Article critically examines the intriguing criminalization of religious fraudulent sex in Taiwan and makes three contributions. First, this Article engages in a detailed doctrinal analysis of recent cases and identifies that there is a de facto falsity requirement in the judicial application of the forcible sex provision to religious fraudulent sex, even if such a requirement is not ostensibly required under the statutory language, academic theory, or the courts’ articulated jurisprudence. Second, this Article finds that the courts’ assessment of the falsity is in practice underpinned by a conceptualization of legitimate religion that categorically rejects any purported supernatural/religious claims that stipulate sex acts as integral to the ritual or otherwise necessary for divine intervention. This approach is an unconstitutional violation of religious freedom, in particular the duty of state neutrality. Third, this Article proposes an alternative approach where the courts simply focus on determining whether the defendant has exploited the victim’s psychological vulnerability. This Article explains how the new constitutional issue (i.e., proportionate restriction of religious practices) raised under this alternate approach may be overcome, and further highlights the normative advantages in terms of deterring criminals and informing victims.

Chinese Abstract: 在臺灣法律的實務中,俗稱的「宗教騙色」案件無疑是刑法第221條的重要應用對象。該類案件在法院判決中所占比重可觀,社會主流民意也大致支持刑法對其的懲治。本文通過系統地整理和分析近期涉及宗教騙色的法院判決,試圖釐清刑法第221條在宗教騙色案件中的適用引發的疑義與爭議。首先,本文發現雖然根據法律條款,學界理論以及司法解釋均不將詐欺視作刑法第221條的定罪要素,但在實務中法院往往會對行為人宗教論述的真實性進行審查,並只有在能認定其論述是虛假的情況下判定行為人有罪。其次,本文通過比較法院在判決中對宗教騙色以及宗教騙財的不同待遇,揭示了法官裁判標準往往蘊含特定的宗教價值觀,並據此指出其判斷宗教論述真偽的裁判標準有違憲法對宗教自由的保障。於此,本文建議法院應放棄將詐欺視作定罪要素的裁判慣例,直接以行為人利用被害人急迫無助的心理狀態、以宗教手段誘使性交做為犯罪主軸。這種裁判思路不僅符合宗教自由對公權力的約束,也能更有效地懾阻宗教騙色的案件發生。

Keywords: Rape-by-deception, Religious Fraud, Fraudulent Sex, Forcible Sex, Religious Freedom, Rape Reform, Taiwan, Criminal Law

Suggested Citation

Chen, Jianlin, Joyous Buddha, Holy Father, and Dragon God Desiring Sex: A Case Study of Rape by Religious Fraud in Taiwan (刑法第221條在宗教騙色案件中的適用:宗教自由視野下的分析) (October 1, 2018). 13(2) National Taiwan University Law Review 183-237 (2018), Available at SSRN:

Jianlin Chen (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Melbourne Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010

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