A woman living in Shanghai was charged for forcing her 12-year-old daughter into prostitution to support her family, Shanghai Daily reports.
The mother, a woman surnamed Gou, was a migrant worker from Guizhou Province who moved to Shanghai in 2002 to find a job, according the the report.
Not able to make end’s meet, the woman eventually sold her daughter to customers for sex and told them that she was 16.
Police caught Gou during a raid of the house after a man reportedly paid 130 yuan for sex with the girl.
According to police reports, the girl told authorities she had sex with three to four different men from 2012.
Child sex trafficking and child rape cases are continuing to make headlines in China despite the fact that the government has ordered harsher punishments for child abusers.
The court’s handling of underage sex scandals in China has long sparked outrage because of “weak” laws surrounding the subject.
According to a report by 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.
It was not reported whether or not the other men who purchased sex from the girl have been apprehended by police.