Iowa City Police: Peng Tang Also Accused of Trying to Get Woman to Change Story
After his parents were accused of the same crime, Tang is now accused of witness tampering for writing a letter to a friend to try to convince the woman who reported him of sexual assault to change her story.
It is a minor crime compared to the first-degree kidnapping charge he now faces, but adding witness tampering to the mix puts even more of a damper on things for Peng Tang.
Tang, 21, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman who told authorities she had been originally under the impression she was showing him an apartment for rent. With the woman's help, authorities arrested Tang the next day. According to a criminal complaint, Tang is accused of sending a letter to a friend trying to convince the woman to change her story.
Tampering with a juror or witness is an aggravated misdemeanor. Tang is also facing a first-degree kidnapping charge potentially punishable by life in prison.
On April 4, Tang allegedly asked his friend to relay a message to the the woman that if she did not change her story he could be in jail for the rest of his life. If the woman cooperated, however, Tang said he could "promise her anything," according to the complaint.
Tang's parents, who arrived in Iowa City on April 5 and stayed at his apartment, were arrested last week and accused of the same crime for allegedly also trying to convince the woman to change her story, allegedly offering to bribe her to do so.
According to the Daily Iowan, due to the additional tampering charge Tang is now being held in the Johnson County Jail on $800,000 bond and has been placed on immigration hold by the Immigration and Naturalization department, meaning he could be deported to China if found guilty after he serves his full sentence.
Tang has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting a trial date.
According to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, if Tang is found guilty it is still possible that he will be allowed to return to China, as long as the U.S. Justice Department agrees to let Tang serve his sentence in a Chinese prison.