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January 1, 2010

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Rapists get longer jail terms after new trial

TWO police assistants who raped two young women had their jail terms lengthened after a review of the previous lenient sentences which had sparked public outrage in Zhejiang Province.

The two men, surnamed Qiu and Cai, were jailed for 11 years and 11 1/2 years respectively yesterday after a new trial by Huzhou City Intermediate People's Court, China News Service reported.

Both had received the minimum three-year jail term for raping the young women in the first trial held on October 19 at Nanxun District People's Court.

In explaining its ruling, the Nanxun court said the sentences were lenient because the officers "conducted the crime on the spur of the moment," they turned themselves in and the victims forgave them. The explanation stirred a public uproar.

According to Chinese criminal law, rapists are charged with a felony and deserve jail terms of at least 10 years.

After reviewing the case, the city's intermediate court abolished the first verdict and reopened the trial on November 6.

The intermediate court said Qiu and Cai invited two young women to dinner on June 10 and raped them at a hotel after the women got drunk.

One girl's father learned about the rapes and reported to Shanlian Police Station later that night.

The police station investigated the two police assistants, who confessed. But the intermediate court said their confession should not be considered as surrendering.

Four officials of Nanxun District were punished over the case, the report said.


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