Rapunzel Teen Locked Up For 3 Yrs Saved By Social Media

Story ByLee BullenSub EditorJoseph GolderAgencyAsia Wire Report

This couple have been arrested for keeping their teenage daughter – dubbed the ‘Taiwanese Rapunzel’ – locked up for three years before she procured a phone through a window and alerted the authorities by posting online.

It is alleged that the teenager was only saved after procuring a phone from a neighbour through a window which she used to post on social media and alert the authorities.

The suspects, identified as the victim’s 37-year-old mother, surnamed Yu, and her 42-year-old stepfather Chang, allegedly confined the 15-year-old girl in their home after a series of school flings, according to reports.

Pictures Credit: AsiaWire

When the victim, now 18 years old, became pregnant, her parents decided to lock her up and she spent three years confined to the flat in the district of Yangmei in the city of Taoyuan located on the island of Taiwan, according to local media. The pregnancy was later terminated, according to reports.

She was confined between 1st September 2015 and 25th October 2018 and all the doors were locked while the windows were sealed, according to the Taoyuan District Prosecutors’ Office.

Her stepfather brought her three meals a day, some of which she sold to neighbours after breaking the seal on one window and managing to lower the items to street level in a basket, the indictment said.

She eventually made enough money to buy a used phone from a neighbour which she used to inform people of her suffering on social media, according to the indictment.

An internet user then reported the matter to the cops in October 2018.

The ‘Taiwanese Rapunzel’, as she was dubbed by local media, was too scared to ask neighbours for help because she had allegedly suffered domestic violence over a long period of time, according to an assessment by the city’s Centre for Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention.

The indictment also said that the couple has admitted to locking up the teenager because she was “too disobedient”.

The suspects have been charged and prosecutors want to see them serve long sentences for offences against personal freedom and maltreating a minor, according to reports.

Meanwhile, the teenager is currently being cared for by social workers.

Her stepfather told local media: “She was having inappropriate relations in school, one guy in middle school and two in high school.

“If I let her out, I would not have been able to control her.

“During this period of discipline, her mother lived with her. It is not like we left her alone all the time.

“I gave her food every day, but sometimes she would refuse the food and throw it in the toilet.

“All I wanted was to take her home and discipline her. I did not put her in chains, and I provided her with three meals a day.”

It is currently unclear when the trial is expected to start.

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