Li Tianyi, the 17 year old son of two PLA singers, has been found guilty of gang raping a woman in Beijing earlier this year and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The court announced the verdict this morning on its official Weibo account, proceedings wrapped up on Friday.
The Haidan District People’s Court in Beijing found Li Tianyi (also known as Li Guanfeng) guilty of, along with four other men, forcibly taking a woman from a bar to a hotel room on February 17, where they raped her.
“In the course of committing the crime they have performed obscene acts to the victim, which should be seen as part of the criminal act of gang rape and have been put into consideration when determining the level of punishment,” the Beijing court said, according to the SCMP.
Li was the only one of his co-defendants who did not plead guilty, a fact reflected in his sentencing. Only one defendant, the only attacker who was over 18 at the time of the assault, was given a longer prison term.
The trial attracted a lot of attention due to Li’s privileged upbringing and the celebrity status of his parents. Meng Ge, Li’s mother, said that the court should take into account that the victim was a bar girl, her victim blaming was echoed by Tsinghua University professor Yi Yanhou, who said that raping a bar girl was “less harmful” than raping a “good woman”.
The court ruled that the woman’s profession had “no direct relationship” to the charges.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, Li’s lawyer said that his client would appeal the sentence.
The victim in the case, who has been named in Chinese media, was committed to a mental hospital on August 21 reportedly due to the stress of the trial.
[Image credit: Southern Metro Daily]