Press Trust of India
Beijing, 26 September
The teenage son of a renowned Chinese singer and a senior General was today sentenced to 10 years in jail for his involvement in a gangrape case, which evoked nationwide anger.
Li Tianyi, 17, son of Major General Li Shuangjiang, dean of the music department of the People’s Liberation Army, (PLA) Academy of Arts was convicted along with four others by the Beijing Haidian District People’s Court in the gangrape case which drew widespread criticism about the misbehaviour by the wards of high-profile Chinese politicians and officials.
While Li was convicted for 10 years, four other defendants, including three juveniles, were given prison terms ranging from three to 12 years. The five men were detained on 21 February after a woman surnamed Yang reported to police that she was gangraped in a hotel after drinking with the men in a bar on 17 February.
Li’s father Li Shuangjiang, a military singer, holds a rank equivalent to General in China’s army.
Ahead of the trial a campaign was unleashed against the victim saying that she was a prostitute and attempts were made to make peace with monetary inducements.
During the trial which was kept in-camera junior Li pleaded innocent saying that he was drunk and was not aware of the happening around.
According to the court, the younger Li and four other defendants took Yang to a hotel room by force, beat her up and gangraped her on 17 February.
Li and another defendant surnamed Wei gave Yang 2,000 yuan ($326.8) afterwards. Yang also suffered minor injuries, according to judicial authorities.
The court held two pre-trial meetings on 22 July and 20 August, in which lawyers for the five suspects and the victim disagreed on whether it was a gang rape or prostitution case.
Li’s mother, Meng Ge, had applied for the trial to be a public hearing, but her application was overruled by the court as the case involves juveniles, whose privacy is protected by law, the trial should be heard in private sessions, the court said.
Li Tianyi had previously triggered controversy in 2011 after he and another teenager attacked a couple who allegedly blocked their passage.