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November 3, 2009

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Lenient rape terms to be reviewed

A COURT in Zhejiang Province's Huzhou City has decided to review a lower tribunal's judgment, which sparked online outrage after minimum sentences were imposed on two police assistants for raping a drunken woman.

The Huzhou Intermediate People's Court made the decision regarding the ruling by Huzhou's Nanxun District Court last Thursday.

The officers, surnamed Qiu and Cai, were convicted of the June 10 rape and received three years' jail.

The court said it was lenient because of the victim's forgiveness and the fact that the rape was unpremeditated, or "a temporary offense."

"Temporary" quickly became a buzzword at domestic online communities. Some Netizens questioned whether offenses could be temporary, permanent or long term.

Earlier media reports said Qiu and Cai had dinner with two high school graduates on June 10 after they completed college entrance exams.

The four drank a lot during the feast and the victim passed out after dinner.

The woman was taken to a hotel and raped by the men.

Netizens raised many questions online, including "was it a gang rape?" - a felony in China that carries at least 10 years of imprisonment or even the death penalty.

They also questioned why the two officers took the victim to a hotel room.


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