Charity founder confesses to sexual assault in WeChat post

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A high-profile charity figure in China has admitted sexually assaulting a woman and said he is willing to accept legal responsibility for his actions, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday.

Lei Chuang, the founder of Yi You Charity, which combats discrimination against people with hepatitis B, posted a statement on social media on Monday confessing to the assault and announcing he was quitting as head of the NGO.

Lei was highly respected in Chinese charity circles, but an anonymous article posted online by a woman on Monday said he sexually abused her after a charity hike three years ago.

The post said Lei and the woman stayed at the same Beijing hotel at the end of the July 2015 hike, and Lei sexually assaulted her there.

It also accused Lei of sexually assaulting interns and volunteers at the charity, but did not say where or when.

Lei posted a statement on WeChat in which he admitted to sexually assaulting the woman at the hotel. An employee at Yi You Charity confirmed to Beijing Youth Daily that the statement was released by Lei. 

“I think I have broken the Criminal Law, and I’m willing to take legal responsibility,” he wrote. “I’m considering turning myself in to the police."

He also apologized to the woman. 

Lei founded Yi You Charity in 2013 after earning a master’s degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The annual hike — Charity Hiking to Beijing — started that year and is one of the charity’s major fundraising activities.

The charity's website is recruiting volunteers for this year’s hike.

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