An elementary school teacher in Tonghua city, in northeast China's Jilin Province, was sentenced to death and executed Tuesday, for raping and molesting 19 girl students under the age of 14.
Li Feng was executed immediately after the verdict was passed by the Higher People's Court of Jinlin province. Li did not appeal after the first-evidence sentence was passed.
The court found that Li began sexually assaulting his students in August of 1998 when he was 21, shortly into his career as an elementary school teacher upon his graduation from a local normal school.
He assaulted girl students in his class for four years, but his activities were only exposed when he changed to another class and his new students unexpectedly rejected his advances.
Under Chinese law, any sexual assault on a person under the age of 14 is regarded as rape. Li was charged with rape and sexual assault on all 19 students, although he had full intercourse with nine of his victims.
Li's father, Li Fuchen, was sentenced to two years in jail for helping his son avoid arrest with 4,000 yuan (US$480). The father has been removed from his post as a deputy in the local legislature of Erdaojiang District, Tonghua.
Meanwhile, the school is also being held to account. Parents of 13 victims are suing the school, saying that the school authorities must take some blame for failing to discover Li's activities.
The parents are demanding compensation totaling 130,000 yuan (US$15,600).
(Xinhua News Agency July 29, 2003)