In the wake of a Hainan sex abuse scandal involving six elementary school girls and their principal reported earlier this month, another primary school principal in Leizhou has allegedly turned himself in for raping two of his female students, after being accused by the girls’ parents.
The parents of the two girls, not related, at Yingli Village Primary School in Leizhou went to the police on May 22 after their daughters claimed that they were sexually abused by their school principal and had begun acting “more remote than normal”.
On the night of May 22, the 37 year old principal surnamed Zheng confessed to taking the two female students into an unoccupied dormitory on repeated accounts throughout the month of May and raping them after all the teachers had gone home.
The principal reportedly warned the girls that if they told anybody, they would never find a husband when they got older.
Zheng would allegedly often stay after school when his wife, also a teacher at the school, went home to take care of their child, claiming that he was helping to tutor students.
He is now being held in police custody.
Psychiatric care has been arranged for the two victims, who are 6th graders at the primary school.
The girls are between 12 and 13 years old, putting them below the legal age of consent in China, which is 14.
China’s laws surrounding rape are often seen as “weak” and are widely criticized, especially as new underage sex abuse scandals surface in the media.
According to Radio Free Asia:
Before 1997, sex with a person under 14 was deemed to be rape, regardless of whether or not consent was given, as children of that age were deemed incapable of giving consent.
But the introduction of the Sex Crimes Against Girls Law in 1997 led to the separate treatment of sexual contact with a minor from the existing rape law.
Defendants can plead ignorance of a child’s age, and crimes under the law carry a maximum penalty of 15 years, compared with a maximum penalty of death under pre-existing rape legislation.
The same report states that some Chinese officials hold “a superstitious belief that sex with a virgin could boost their chances of promotion,” according to a Guangzhou-based lawyer named Sui Muqing.
“There is a superstitious pun based on the similarity between the words for virgin and ‘initial level’ official which means that an evil custom has become customary among many ignorant officials,” Sui said.
“This states that if you want to be sure that a girl is a virgin, you have to get a girl who is still in primary school.”
“Taking a girl’s virginity is supposed to boost chances of a promotion,” he added. “I think a lot of officials do this as a pastime.”