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Child sex scandal involves teachers, officials

EIGHT people, including six government officials and teachers, will go on trial for their involvement in a child prostitution scandal affecting a dozen primary and middle school students in southwest China.

The trial will open next Wednesday at the Xishui County Court in Guizhou Province, today's China Youth Daily reported.

The Guizhou police launched an investigation after receiving a complaint on August 15 last year from a mother who said her 13-year-old daughter, Li Yu, had been raped after being duped by a classmate, Wang Qing, in Xishui County.

The investigation then uncovered a conspiracy which saw girl students being forced into prostitution.

Police said a woman Yuan Li, 37 began the prostitution racket in October 2007 with a 14-year-old girl surnamed Liu, and Liu's boyfriend, 15.

Yuan provided her apartment and found clients while Liu looked for girl students to be prostitutes.

Yuan took 30 percent of the payments and Liu and her boyfriend kept the rest.

From October 2007 to July 2008, Liu and her boyfriend forced more than 10 girls, most under 14 years, from four schools into prostitution.
They threatened the girls they would inject them with poison, take pictures of them naked and beat them up, police said.

Wang Qing, one of the victims, said her clients included teachers and government officials. Among them were Feng Zhiyang, a teacher with the county's vocational high school, Chen Mengran, the land management director of the county's Malin industrial district, Li Shouming, the dean of Xishui's migration office, and Huang Yongliang, an official with the county's labor and social security bureau.

Li Yu's clients included the teacher Feng and Chen Cun, an official with the county's law department.

Wang also helped find other girls after Liu told her she could quit prostitution if she found more students for her, police said.

The girls themselves received about 20 yuan (US$2.93) each time.

The eight defendants will probably be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail, according to Yuan Yunqin, Secretary of Xishui's Politics and Law Committee. He dismissed a previous report that the prostitution ring had been organized by teachers.

Liu and her boy friend have been sent to a reform school.

Another child prostitution scandal was reported in Guizhou in 2007. Two teachers who organized that racket were sentenced to death later that year.

Twenty-two pupils, six under the age of 14, from a middle school and a primary school in Xinfa, and a village girl were forced into prostitution between March and June 2006 after teachers took them to hotels in Nayong County and Liupanshui City in the province, according to earlier media reports.


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