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September 26, 2013

Son of Chinese Military Singers Gets 10 Years for Gang Rape

by VOA News

The teenage son of two well-known Chinese military singers has been convicted of gang rape and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A Beijing court Thursday found 17-year-old Li Tianyi and four others guilty of sexually assaulting a woman at a hotel in the capital in February.

Li argued he was drunk and not aware of what happened with the woman, whom the boys met at a Beijing hotel. His family said it was a case of prostitution.

However, the court determined that Li dragged the woman into the hotel, demanded she disrobe and was the first to forcibly have sex with her.

Only one of the five defendants was an adult. The sentences against the others ranged from three to 12 years in jail.

The case was closely watched in China, where outrage was widespread over the impunity with which China's elite leaders and their children behave. Chinese leaders are often seen as corrupt.

Li's father, General Li Shuangjiang of the People's Liberation Army, became famous by singing patriotic songs on television. His mother is also a famous singer in the PLA.

Li has had run-ins with the law before; he was sent to a government correctional facility for 12 months for attacking a couple in 2011 after ramming his BMW into their car in Beijing.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has acknowledged widespread corruption within senior leadership. He has vowed to crack down on abuses, saying failure to do so could threaten the Communist Party's grip on power.