Home / China / Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
Rape by any other name is rape
Adjust font size:

It is shameful that a local official in Yibin County of Sichuan Province should have defiled a girl under 14.

It is even more outrageous that police applied a suspended regulation to help the official escape severe punishment, letting him off the hook lightly.

Lu Yumin, a 47-year-old taxation official, is widely reported to have had sex with a 13-year-old middle school student last December.

He was only accused of patronizing a prostitute, however, and was sentenced to 15 days' administrative detention and a 5,000 yuan (US$732) fine, the Chengdu Commercial Daily reported on May 11.

Yet under the current Criminal Law, "A person who has sex with a girl under the age of fourteen years shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not less than five years and concurrently to a fine."

Yet Lu escaped his due punishment because he claimed to be ignorant of the girl's age.

Local police, to justify their actions, cited a document issued in January 2003 by the Supreme People's Court, stipulating that one who has consensual sexual relations with a girl under 14 has not committed a crime, providing he is ignorant of the girl's age and the act did not have severe consequences.

The fact is that in August 2003 the high court ordered postponement of the implementation of that document. The postponement is still effective, but local authorities still applied it in Lu's case. He reportedly offered 6,000 yuan to the owner of a local hotpot restaurant surnamed Mou to find a virgin for him to have sex with and that's what he paid for the schoolgirl brought by Mou.

Lu claimed that he did not know she was underage, but he could have guessed from the girl's immature appearance.

There's a big difference between the preferential treatment official Lu received and the harsh treatment received by a young peeping Tom in Chengdu, Sichuan Province this April.The voyeur surnamed Li was accused of rape and sentenced to one year's probation because he peered at a woman in her courtyard.

He reportedly admitted he had intended to rape her but changed his mind when she spotted him.

The big difference between Lu and Li is their status, the former being an official, the latter being an ordinary person.

Indeed, it's like "one man may steal a horse while another may not look over a hedge."

Our law may be fair, but the same cannot be said for differential enforcement.

(Shanghai Daily May 20, 2009)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read Bookmark and Share
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Third finding on rape claim
- Teacher on 16 rape raps
- US diplomat summoned by Japan over rape case
- Man charged with rape of girls lured to hotel