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April 10, 2014

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Trio convicted for prostitution file appeal

THREE people who were sentenced to 10 years in jail for prostitution appealed their conviction at the Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People’s Court yesterday.

The trio sought lighter punishment, claiming their actions did not amount to procuring prostitution.

Li Haoran, Yang Mingtong and Zhu Guozheng set up a dating website in August 2010, which actually served as a platform for prostitutes to connect with  customers, prosecutors said.

Yang and Zhu were responsible for managing and maintaining the website, while Li recruited women for prostitution. Yang and Zhu handled a section that had a large amount of information about prostitutes and other details like entertainment venues and rules to hook up a prostitute.

The number of registered members on the website was 485,771 and the total amount of illicit money they earned was over 4.38 million yuan.

In the appeals court, Li claimed it was the prostitutes who connected him and that the illegal dealings of the website had nothing to do with him.

Yang and Zhu, on the other hand, said they ran the website like a dating service, and had no knowledge of deals struck by the netizens with the clients outside.


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