Unfaithful Husband Sentenced to Prison

A 25-year-old worker in a Shanghai computer company has become the first person sentenced to jail for violating the new Marriage Law enacted in April.

Shanghai Changning District People's Court sentenced the man, Chen Yue, to six months in prison after a hearing earlier this week.

Chen was found guilty of having a live-in girlfriend only months after marrying another woman.

The case was brought by the wife, 26-year-old Wei Yiqing, who also works in the computer field, after a work colleague followed Chen back to Chen's other "home." She is now seeking a divorce and financial compensation in a separate proceeding.

According to court records, Chen married Wei in March 2000 but went astray in December after meeting Shao Rong, a 32-year-old woman who works in a karaoke parlor. He set up housekeeping with Shao in January, while still maintaining his marriage with Wei, said the court.

The wife charged that Chen and Shao even had held a wedding ceremony on March 6 and went to Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces for a honeymoon.

"What I can't stand is that they publicized their relationship as a couple," said Wei. "Their behavior violated the principle of monogamy. I am the legal wife of Chen, not Shao," said Wei, who filed suit in April.

Chen admitted in court that he had hurt Wei, and he apologized. He and Shao claimed they never had a wedding ceremony and never considered each other husband and wife.

"We invited friends to dinner to celebrate moving to a new house, not for a wedding. But, I confirm our cohabitation. It is illegal," said Shao during the hearing.

The court went on to rule that Chen and Shao violated the monogamy provisions of the new Marriage Law. Since Shao surrendered to the court and admitted her fault, she was not sent to jail.

(Eastday.com 06/27/2001)

In This Series

New Marriage Law, a Hit on Book Market

New Elements in the Revised Marriage Law

Public Opinion Helps Make Better Laws

Draft Amendments to Marriage Law Open for General Debate

What of the Marriage Law Should Be Amended?

Issues in Focus for New Marriage Law

Marriage Law Revision Undergoing Heated Discussion



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