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UM professor Sexually assaults’student: report

The former dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Macau (UM), John Mo Shijian, who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a female student from the mainland enrolled in another local university, has been remanded in custody.

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PUBLISHED

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UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

The former dean of the Law Faculty of the University of Macau (UM), John Mo Shijian, who is alleged to have sexually assaulted a female student from the mainland enrolled in another local university, has been remanded in custody.

Mo’s pre-trial detention was first reported by the Portuguese-language radio channel of government-owned broadcaster TDM on Wednesday night.

However, the initial report did not mention the reason for his arrest, merely that it was not related to financial issues. The report identified the suspect as John Mo.

In a statement Thursday, the police confirmed the arrest of a local university professor for allegedly having assaulted a female mainland student, and the Public Prosecution Office (MP) confirmed in a statement that a man surnamed Mo was remanded in custody for the alleged sexual assault of a woman.

Neither the police nor the prosecution elaborated on the kind of sexual assault the suspect is alleged to have committed.

The public University of Macau (UM) said in a statement Thursday that it had terminated the employment contract of the professor involved in the alleged sexual assault case, as well as his position as the dean of its Graduate School in accordance with the university’s Personnel Statute. The UM statement, which did not identify the sexual assault suspect, also said that the university had already appointed an interim dean of the Graduate School to ensure that the school’s work can proceed smoothly. However, the name of the interim dean was not disclosed.

The UM statement went on to say that the university has submitted a report on the case to Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng.

According to The Macau Post Daily Mo was appointed as the dean of the Faculty of Law (FLL) in late 2011, a post he held until 2016, when he was appointed as the dean of the UM Graduate School, an appointment which was terminated yesterday.

In a statement, the Judiciary Police (PJ) said that a female student from the mainland enrolled in a local university reported to the police on Sunday that she had been sexually assaulted by a professor working at another local university. The statement said that after investigating the case, the police assume that based on evidence the professor committed the crime, adding that he was transferred to the Public Prosecution Office for further questioning on Tuesday.

The PJ statement said that subsequently the city judiciary decided on Tuesday night to remand the professor in custody. The statement went on to say that the police are unable to disclose further details of the case as the victim has strongly requested confidentiality. The statement added that the police have, however, decided to provide the media with brief information on the case after striking the right balance between the public right to know and confidentiality regarding the case.

Thursday, the Public Prosecution Office said in a statement that a man surnamed Mo had been transferred by the police to the office for alleged sexual assault of a woman. The MP statement said that an examining magistrate had later ordered the suspect to be remanded in custody as suggested by a prosecutor handling the case.

According to the UM website, Mo had worked at City University of Hong Kong, Deakin University in Australia, and China University of Political Science and Law where he had served as the dean of the International Law School since 2005, before he was appointed as the dean of the UM Faculty of Law in late 2011.

In separate UM statement, the university said that it was not in a position to comment on the case for the time being given that its legal proceedings have already been initiated.

The statement said that the university had only learnt of the case after having received information about it, as the alleged crime did not happen on its campus.

“The University of Macau has long ago established its Personnel Statute and its Guidelines on the Professional Conduct for Academic Staff, to regulate the professional conduct of its staff. The university hereby reiterates that it will never tolerate any misconduct or violation of rules and regulations, and will take immediate steps and disciplinary action towards any such incidents involving misconduct or violation of rules and regulations,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters about the alleged sexual assault case, Tam, whose policy secretariat oversees the city’s tertiary education system, said that he had only learnt of the case via media reports.

He insisted that the government always places strong emphasis on the development of Macau’s higher education sector, adding that the government always demands higher moral virtue standards and conduct as well as professionalism for teaching staff than for public servants in general.

Tam made the remarks after attending the graduation ceremony of the Macau Polytechnic Institute (LPM) on its campus in ZAPE.

Meanwhile, the official website of the UM Graduate School (GRS) bore the message yesterday. “Sorry, the webpage that you are brows-ing is not accessible. The webpage can only be accessible to users on the campus network.

“Thank you for your attention!”said a notice on the website, which also after midnight could not be accessed.

UPDATED: 22 Dec 2023, 5:47 am

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