A computer scientist from the local Taiwanese community used a recipe he found on the Internet to drug the daughters of his friends and rape them
A Hamilton County grand jury returned a 17-count indictment Wednesday against Chien Tai Wu of Symmes Township, charging the 50-year-old naturalized American citizen with rape, attempted rape, aggravated burglary, felonious assault, gross sexual imposition and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance.
Wu, who works for a Loveland company, is accused of raping three victims five times over a six-year period beginning in 2001. At the time, the victims - one was raped three times, the others once each - ranged in age from 15 to 17.
In the most recent attack on July 18, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Wu left evidence.
"There was a clear sign of sexual assault in the last girl," Deters said. "She said to investigators, 'I think I saw his face at some point. It might have been a dream, I'm not sure.'"
After that teen came forward, police and other members of the tight-knit Taiwanese community began to connect the dots. Police canvassed the neighborhood and "awesome" detective work by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office tied the case together, leading to the two other victims, Deters said.
"They all know each other," he said.
After gaining the trust of the families of his victims - by playing poker together, offering to walk dogs and housesit while they were on vacation, thus gaining security and garage door codes - Wu learned his victims' routines and when they would be alone in their homes.
He admitted himself into their homes, used a stun gun to subdue the victims and chloroform - made from an easy recipe he found on the Internet - to sedate them.
Wu then undressed the girls, raped them using a condom, re-dressed them and left.
When victims came to, they had some sense they had been attacked, but thought maybe it had been a dream. Police were called in some of the cases, but with no physical evidence and victims doubting their own memories, no charges were ever filed.
"I really think this particular offender thought he was too smart to get caught," Deters said. "It's just so bizarre how they were attacked and the methods used and the fact that they knew the families."
Wu has a doctorate in computer science from the University of Michigan, Deters said, adding that he is "pretty intelligent" and was "very challenging to the police."
All three victims were told what happened to them in the past few days, Deters said.
There could be more victims unaware that they had been attacked, he said.
"We think an offender who would offend in this type of situation would not stop for a couple of years," he said.
Deters said he has never seen another case like this one. "I've seen movies about this kind of stuff."
Wu is married and has two children, who are friends with the victims. Deters doubts that any family members were aware of Wu's actions.
"I'm sure they are in hell right now," he said.
Police confiscated more than 12 computers and are searching them for further evidence in the case. "Horrific" photos of Wu attacking a victim were already found on one computer, Deters said.
"It wouldn't surprise me if other charges arise out of this, and potentially other victims arise," Deters said.
Bond has been set at $2 million and the case has been assigned to Judge William Mallory Jr. Wu could get up to 137 years in prison if convicted on all charges.
Deters said he will ask Mallory to increase Wu's bond next week. Deters plans to prosecute the case himself.
"If it goes to trial, I will," he said. "Having your daughter raped is bad enough. Knowing one of your best friends did it has to be horrific."
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