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Man forced into rape will not be charged

A MAN who was held hostage and allegedly forced to rape and strangle a female hostage in central China was exempted from criminal charges after prosecutors recently launched litigation against the eight suspected kidnappers.

The hostage, who was identified as Xia, was an employee of a prosecutors office in Pingdingshan City, Henan Province, the Oriental Morning Post reported yesterday.

Xia was kidnapped by eight ex-convicts on October 14 last year and forced to have sex with Wang Kejia, who was kidnapped hours later.

The eight suspects, six of whom had been inmates in a prison in Henan's Luoyang City, also allegedly threatened to kill Xia if he refused to strangle Wang with a rope.

Xia was released the next morning and blackmailed for 10 million yuan (US$1.46 million) while Wang's body was discarded in a 40-meter-deep mine shaft, the newspaper said.

It was reported that the kidnappers took digital photos of Xia and Wang, but the head of Pingdingshan police's press office, Hao Zhenyu, denied that photos existed.

After Xia was released he called police immediately.

Wang's parents thought Xia should also be held responsible for their daughter's death, but Pingdingshan police said they wouldn't take legal action against him.

Dong Zhengyue, head of a detective squad at the Pingdingshan Public Security Bureau's Xinhua branch, told the newspaper that Xia was forced to strangle Wang, who survived the attempt only to be killed later by the kidnappers.

Xinhua branch's detective chief Li Tingshan said Xia had his eyes blindfolded by the kidnappers when he was forced to have sex with Wang and strangle her.

According to China's criminal law, offenders forced to commit crimes can be exempt from punishment or receive lenient penalties.

Hao said that Xia was in an unstable mood and often had nightmares. He stayed at home and never went to the office.

People who know Xia said he was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Pingdingshan police disclosed that the eight suspects abducted another woman on November 1, 2008 in neighboring Luohe City in preparation for kidnapping and blackmailing their next target, a Pingdingshan coal mine administration official, before they were caught. The woman was gang-raped, police said.


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