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April 24, 2012

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Student appeals prison term in rape case

AN international student jailed for six years after admitting raping a Chinese woman has appealed for a lighter sentence.

The student, surnamed Idriss, from the African nation of Chad, asked the Shanghai Higher People's Court to reduce his sentence because he pleaded guilty at his original trial.

Idriss was studying oil and gas storage and transportation engineering at a local university when arrested on September 15 last year. He appeared before the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People's Court last December and pleaded guilty to the rape charge.

Idriss was sentenced to six years in prison and is to be deported afterwards.

The appeal at the Shanghai Higher People's Court has not been heard in public for privacy reasons. The court has not published a verdict.

In the original case, the court heard that Idriss struck up a conversation with his victim on their campus on August 13 last year.

He invited her back to his dorm, saying it was a family member's birthday and offering to show her some photographs.

After showing her the pictures, Idriss asked the woman to have sex with him and when she refused, raped her. Prosecutors said the woman suffered injuries to all her limbs and her scalp in the attack.

Afterwards, afraid that she would be raped again, the woman claimed she was hungry and as Idriss was ordering takeout food, managed to send a text to her boyfriend, prosecutors said.

When the food arrived, the woman offered to go and pay, and alerted the delivery man and the dorm administrator.

Prosecutors said police found Idriss's sperm on the woman.

In his appeal, Idriss's lawyer called for a lighter penalty, as he had confessed and pleaded guilty.

Under Chinese Criminal Law, Idriss could have faced a sentence of three to 10 years.


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