Former coach of Hong Kong hurdler arrested for sexual assault

AFP
The former coach of champion Hong Kong hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu has been arrested after he was accused of sexually assaulting the athlete when she was a teenager.
AFP
Facebook

Champion Hong Kong hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu posts an open letter posted on Facebook on her 23rd birthday in November, accusing her former coach of sexually assaulting her when she was a schoolgirl.

The former coach of champion Hong Kong hurdler Vera Lui Lai-yiu has been arrested after he was accused of sexually assaulting the athlete when she was a teenager.

The suspect was detained two months after Lui became the first high-profile woman in socially conservative Hong Kong to speak out against abuse as part of the #MeToo movement exposing sexual misconduct.

In an open letter posted on Facebook on her 23rd birthday in November, she accused her former coach of sexually assaulting her when she was a schoolgirl, prompting the city’s leader Carrie Lam to ask police to investigate.

A 76-year-old man was arrested for "indecent assault" Sunday but has since been released on bail, police confirmed to AFP. Police declined to name him.

The #MeToo campaign spread rapidly in October after multiple accusations against Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and has since shaken artistic, media and political circles globally.

Lui said she was inspired to speak out by American Olympic gold-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney, one of a number of women who accused former USA Gymnastic team doctor Lawrence Nassar of abusing them.

Nassar was last week sentenced to 40 to 175 years in jail for criminal sexual conduct.

Lui had previously recalled how she thought nothing of it when the coach offered her a massage at his home to relax her muscles, but that he then removed her clothes and molested her.

She did not identify the perpetrator but the school attended by Lui at the time said they had immediately stopped working with the accused coach after she told them of her intention to publicise the incident.

Lui -- who took the gold medal in the 60-metre women's hurdles at the Asian Indoor Games in September -- said she decided to speak out a decade later in hopes of breaking the taboo around the subject in Chinese culture and encouraging other victims of sexual abuse to seek help.

Top