Supreme People's Court Adds to Suggestion on Dealing with Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Children

January 6, 2014
Editor: Nancy Sun
Supreme People's Court Adds to Suggestion on Dealing with Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Children
The Supreme People's Court interpreted on January 2, 2014 key issues of the judiciary's Suggestions on Punishing Crimes of Child Sexual Abuse jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice in October, 2013. [duhaime.org]
The Supreme People's Court interpreted on January 2, 2014 the key issues of Suggestions on Punishing Crimes of Child Sexual Abuse jointly issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice in October, 2013.

The law should identify that those accused of having sex with a girl under the age of 14 were clearly aware of the victim's 'actual age' while committing sexual abuse, it was considered.

According to the interpretation, those aged between 14 and 16 who occasionally have sex with underage girls not involved in an ongoing relationship and causing no serious consequences will not be considered as criminal. Those aged between 16 and 18 having sex with underage girls will be dealt with as criminals but given lesser punishments.

Xiao Feng, a judge with the First Court of the Supreme People's Court said judging whether the case is not involved and ongoing and the seriousness of the consequences depends on whether a romantic relationship is involved between the two parties and the evaluation of its influence on an underage girl's physical and mental health.

"Those who lure by promise of gain and use other means of deception and enforcement or whose behavior cause an underage girl's pregnancy, abortion or severe damage to her physical and mental health will not treated lightly or ascausing no severe consequences," Xiao said.

The interpretation will also support a victim's request of asking a perpetrator to pay for reasonable expense including medical care, and transportation expenses and charges for loss of working time used in undergoing rehabilitation treatment for personal injuries caused by the sexual abuse.

"Expenses for psychological treatment are also included, but it is not the same thing as mental compensation," Xiao said.

The Supreme People's Court also issued three typical cases of child sexual abuse for the courts' reference when dealing with similar cases.

In the first case, the perpetrator Lv Shan, who raped five girls under age 14 and five underage girls older than 14, was sentenced to death. In the second case, the perpetrator who had repeated sexual intercourse with a girl under age 14 and tried to convince the judge he was not aware of her age, was convicted of the crime of rape and sentenced to eight years in prison.

In the third case, a teacher who molested seven girl students around age 7, was convicted of the crime of child molestation. As he not only caused psychic trauma to the victims and their families but also severely damaged the image of teachers, the court preferred to hand down a heavier punishment. In consideration of his attitude toward admission of guilt, he was sentenced to eight years in prison.

China's top judicial authorities have been moving to stamp out child rape. Suggestions in Punishing Crimes of Child Sexual Abuse state heavier sentences should be handed down for offenses committed by teachers and government personnel tasked with educating and protecting victims.

As an advisory, "the Suggestions embody the principle of 'maximum protection' for the victims and 'minimum tolerance' for the offenders," said Supreme People's Court spokesperson Sun Jungong.

Offenders serving suspended sentences could be banned from frequenting schools and excluded from jobs or activities involving minors.

Any institutions involved, schools for example, may be liable for compensation to victims or their families.

Harsher sentences are ordered for offenses involving breaking and entering, preteens, children in rural areas whose parents are working away from home, those with serious disabilities, or in cases of violence, pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease.

To protect victims' privacy, investigators will question victims at their homes or other places where they feel safe psychologically. Repeated questioning should be avoided and officers should wear plain clothes when visiting victims' home or schools.

A spate of sexual assaults on minors has shocked the nation, including several involving teachers and their students.

A 62-year-old primary school teacher in east China's Jiangxi Province was sentenced to 14 years in jail earlier this month for molesting seven second-grade girls in class and infecting six of them with STDs.

Guang Tianyi, 27, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail for molesting one girl and two boys on separate occasions in Beijing between December 2012 and March this year.

On June 25, a school principal was sentenced to 18 years in jail for raping and molesting girls in Qianshan County in east China's Anhui Province.

"Though the number of sexual offences is not high in terms of criminal cases, they have serious physical and mental effects on minors, an extremely adverse impact in society, and arouse strong public discontent," Sun said.

The Ministry of Education, together with three other authorities, issued guidelines on prevention of sexual assaults against children last month, asking schools to educate students against sexual assaults and to tighten reviews of teacher credentials and management of dormitoriess.

Chu Zhaohui, a researcher with the National Institute of Education Sciences, said China still needs to improve coordination in handling sexual assault cases, noting that some were left unreported, concealed or trivialized. Psychological counseling for victims should also be improved.

(Source: stopdv-china.org/Translated and edited by womenofchina.cn)

Please understand that womenofchina.cn,a non-profit, information-communication website, cannot reach every writer before using articles and images. For copyright issues, please contact us by emailing: website@womenofchina.cn. The articles published and opinions expressed on this website represent the opinions of writers and are not necessarily shared by womenofchina.cn.


32.3K
Comments