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Nation's high court vows no mercy for child molesters

By ZHAO YINAN  (China Daily)

08:26, May 30, 2013

China's top court said it will show no mercy to people who have sexually molested children, as public outrage grows over a series of such cases.

The Supreme People's Court will require local courts to spare no effort to protect the rights of minors and severely punish criminals who have violated juveniles' rights by sexually abusing them, the court said in a statement on Wednesday.

The court said it will research the difficulties in protecting the rights of minors and issue guidelines to local courts.

The court also released a sample case ruling, in which the criminal will be executed for the sexual abuse of children.

The criminal, identified only as Bao, was a primary school teacher. Bao was sentenced to death for repeatedly raping and molesting seven female students from 2004 to 2011. The students were only 9 and 10 years old when they were forced to watch pornographic videos and when Bao molested them, the statement said.

China's Criminal Law stipulates that criminals who have sexual relations with children younger than 14 should be charged with rape, and offenders could receive a death sentence.

Experts said the statement indicates that suspects in recent child-molestation cases will be harshly punished.

Wanning People's Court in Hainan province filed a high-profile case on Tuesday, in which a school principal and a government employee are accused of sexually molesting six Houlang Primary School students in hotels in Wanning and in Haikou, the provincial capital.

Tang Hongxin, a criminal lawyer in Beijing, said that according to the Criminal Law, the two suspects could face imprisonment of more than five years.

In another case, a teacher from a primary school in the Nanshan district of Shenzhen, Guangdong province, was arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of sexually abusing four second-graders, according to Nanfang Daily.

The Shenzhen prosecutor's office said it submitted 105 child molestation cases to courts from 2011 until now, the newspaper reported.

Although the top court did not reveal the total number of such cases tried in China in recent years, Shenzhen's prosecutor's office told the local newspaper that the number of Shenzhen cases is not high compared with other cities in China.

"Child abuse happens sometimes due to the traditional concepts of education and lack of self-protection awareness," the top court said in the statement.

Tang Hongxin said the frequency of child sexual abuse cases has revealed gaps in sex education for children, since many children don't even know they have been molested before other people find out.

Some parents chose not to report cases to police to prevent the case from becoming public, which made future sexual abuse possible, he added.

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