A teacher has been sentenced to death for raping 18 female primary school pupils in northwestern Gansu Province.
Cheng Laifu, a teacher at a school in Changhe Township of Tongwei County under the jurisdiction of Dingxi City, was convicted of raping a total of 18 grade three and four - aged nine to ten years old - pupils on 70 separate occasions between September 2001 and March 2005, according to the Western Economic Daily based in Gansu's provincial capital of Lanzhou.
Cheng forced or lured the children into his dormitory or office under the pretext of tutoring them before committing the crimes, the report said, citing a statement released by the Dingxi Municipal Intermediate People's Court.
Cheng even raped several girls at the same time, the court document said. "Cheng's crimes have had an extremely negative impact on society," the statement said.
But an official with the county education bureau, when contacted by Xinhua on Wednesday, refused to provide more details about Cheng and the name of the school. Sources said the the court had conducted a closed-door trial.
In July 2005, school teacher Li Guang, also from Changhe Township, was sentenced to death for raping 23 pupils in grade four and five between September and November in 2004, which led to the resignation of the director of the county education bureau surnamed Cui.
But the local education official would not say whether the two cases happened at the same school.
(Xinhua News Agency June 14, 2007)