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Pastor suspected of molestation of Chinese student released on bail

(People's Daily Online)    16:00, February 12, 2018

[File photo]

A pastor suspected of sexually assaulting two Chinese exchange students at a Southern California motel was released on bail on Monday after he surrendered to local authorities, without pleading guilty.

According to Chinese news portal haiwainet.cn, Douglas Rivera, a 40-year-old pastor, has paid a bail of $100,000 and left the local police station. The suspect was accused of watching two underage Chinese girls through their motel window, performing sex acts on himself, and then breaking into their room to assault one of the girls.

As of press time, the girls’ parents have already been informed of the incident, while Rivera proclaimed his innocence on his Instagram account, saying that he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The incident has enraged internet users in China, who called for more protection of underage Chinese exchange students in the U.S., as their lack of language proficiency and knowledge of the local environment could make them easy targets for perpetrators.

“According to reports, the victim is only 13 and can hardly speak English. She may bear a dream to see a different culture and country, but sadly it ended in assault. As more and more young Chinese students go to the U.S. to continue their study, the U.S. government should do more to take care of our kids,” a netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.

U.S. and Canada are major destinations for Chinese students who study abroad, especially for teenagers. According to NBC News, around two in five international students enrolled in American high schools are from China, and the total number of students from China rose by 48 percent between 2013 and 2016.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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