Parents of Iowa City Sex Assault Suspect Accused of Trying to Pay Off Victim
By Vanessa Miller, Reporter
IOWA CITY, Iowa - The parents of a 21-year-old Iowa City man accused of sexually assaulting a woman who was showing her apartment for rent in March have been arrested on suspicion of tampering with a witness after police say they flew to town and tried to pay the victim to change her story.
Peng Tang's father, Xuefan Tang, 57, and his mother, Li Qiao, 49, arrived in Iowa on April 5 and began staying at their son's apartment, according to a criminal complaint. The couple then asked someone who is close to their son to find the victim and "persuade" her to change her story, police reported.
The mother reportedly said she would pay the woman to alter her report about what happened the night Peng Tang is accused of trapping the woman in her bedroom while she was showing him her apartment and tying her hands behind her back while he sexually assaulted her, according to police reports.
Tang's father admitted to police, according to the report, that they did ask someone to find the victim and pay her to change her story.
One of the victim's friends told her this was happening, and the woman called police as soon as she found out, according to the report.
Qiao and Xuefan Tang were being held Thursday morning at the Johnson County Jail on an initial bond of $2,000 each. They are scheduled to appear before a judge later this morning.
Peng Tang is still being held in the Johnson County Jail in lieu of a $750,000 cash-only bond.
According to court records, the woman who said she was sexually assaulted put an advertisement to sublet her apartment on a website used by Chinese nationals, and a man who she said she never met responded and made arrangements to come over and view the unit.
The woman brought the man to her apartment about 8 p.m. March 29, and when they entered her bedroom, Tang is accused of grabbing her hands and trying to put them behind her back, according to police. He then is accused of putting a towel in her mouth, according to a criminal complaint, and making her turn off her cell phone while he forced her to have sex with him and perform other sexual acts.
Tang is accused of taking pictures during the acts and telling the woman, "You have better follow my requirements because I have a knife," according to police. Tang also is accused of forcing the woman to pose for nude pictures and threatening to post the pictures online if she went to police, according to the criminal complaint.
The woman went to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics the next day and contacted police. The woman then worked with officers to pursued Tang, through text messages, to meet her again at her apartment, according to the complaint.
Officers arrested Tang, and he eventually admitted to police that he had sex with the woman and had been carrying handcuffs and a knife, according to police.