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Sex slaves rescued from basement

(China Daily)

09:12, September 23, 2011

ZHENGZHOU - Police have detained a family man who allegedly held six women as sex slaves in a basement for two years.

Li Hao, 34, is also accused of killing two of his victims and burying them in the room as a scare tactic.

He was seized on Sept 6 after one of his captives escaped and led police to the underground prison, according to reports by Southern Metropolis Daily.

A publicity official for Luoyang public security bureau in Henan province told China Daily on Thursday that the case is still under investigation, adding that Li is undergoing tests to gauge his mental state.

The suspect, a former civil servant with the city's technological supervision bureau, told police he bought the basement, which is in an old residential community, four years ago and spent more than a year digging two small rooms four meters beneath the basement.

Once finished, Li kidnapped six women, all of whom worked at nightclubs and karaoke bars, and locked them in the rooms. He has regularly raped each of them for the past two years, said police.

To prevent his victims from escaping, Li fed the women only once every two days, keeping them physically weak. The only time any of them were allowed to leave the basement was when he needed money, at which times he would force one of them to sleep with other men for money and pocket the cash, according to a Southern Metropolis Daily report.

It was during one of these excursions that one victim, a 23-year-old woman, managed to escape and report the case to the police.

She guided police officers to the basement, where they discovered three other women. There was also a shallow grave containing two bodies in one corner of the room.

The rooms had a computer, where the women could watch videos and play games, although it had no Internet access, according to media reports.

Police suggested Li's victims may be suffering for Stockholm Syndrome - when hostages start to sympathize with their captors - because the women seem to be obedient and even proud of having sex with him.

Li is believed to have killed the two women found in the shallow graves last year, possibly because they attempted to fight back.

The suspect's wife, who is 10 years younger and has had a son with him, said she did not know about the basement until she learned of her husband's detention. She said Li had told her he had a part-time job as a gatekeeper, which gave him an excuse to go out at night.

The police have released three of the four victims. The other was detained on suspicion she helped Li kill one of the murdered women.

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