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Opinions divided on arrest of adoptive mother accused of child abuse

(Xinhua)    12:49, April 17, 2015

NANJING, April 17  -- Members of the public have voiced divided views on the arrest of an adoptive mother who allegedly abused her nine-year-old foster son.

During a hearing in east China's Nanjing city on Friday, the Pukou District People's Procuratorate listened to the opinions of 18 members of the public on whether or not to arrest the woman, surnamed Li, who was detained after photos of suspected lash marks on the child went viral online.

Some of the 18 people advised the procuratorate to be careful when handling the domestic violence and put the boy's interest at the top of their decision, while others said the case should be handled severely.

The public panel consists of representatives from varying sectors ranging from political consultants, legal experts, psychologists to educators.

The procuratorate said it would take the panel's opinions into consideration when deciding whether to issue an arrest for the woman, who has been under police detention for 10 days for intentional injury.

The photos, showing suspected lash marks on the boy's back, legs and arms, went viral online in March and triggered an outcry to punish Li.

A medical appraisal reported the boy suffered grade one minor injuries which covered 10 percent of his body.

Li's lawyer read her apology letter at the hearing, in which the mother said she was in hysterics when she beat the boy with a wooden stick.

"I would double my love to take care of the boy in the future," she said in the letter.

Li is the cousin of the boy's natural mother. The adoption was agreed to by the two families. But the procuratorate said the adoption did not go through formal procedures.

The boy told the hearing he would still like to live with the adoptive mother.

A child abuse offense refers to family members frequently mistreating a child. The crime can be punished with up to two years in prison or detention.

Of the 697 child abuse cases exposed by the media from 2008 to 2013, 74.75 percent were committed by natural parents, the Beijing Youth Legal Assistance Research Center said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Zhang Yuan,Huang Jin)

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