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August 15, 2009

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18 to be tried for child rape, prostitution

EIGHTEEN suspects in south China, including a county lawmaker and a school principal, will face trial on charges ranging from child rape to organizing prostitution.

The victims included five students under age 14.

The Intermediate People's Court of Quanzhou City in Fujian Province agreed yesterday to hear the case. No trial date was announced.

Xu Xinjian, former principal of a secondary technical school in Anxi County in Quanzhou, and Zhen Wenshan, a former member of the county's legislature, were indicted along with another five suspects for engaging in sex with underage girls.

Yang Xiangsi and Zhang Baoying, both unemployed women, were charged with forcing and organizing prostitution along with a gang of nine others.

Yang and Zhang coerced eight girls and two women into offering sex services in hotel rooms for money, according to police.

An unidentified victim told reporters that Yang gave her an MP4 player and told her it was a present from a rich man inviting her to go out. The man raped her later in a hotel room.

The Fujian case follows other recent crimes involving underage prostitutes in China.

Eight people, including a county legislator, four government officials and a teacher, were jailed last month for terms ranging from seven years to life for sex offenses involving underage females in southwest China's Guizhou Province.


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