Retrial held for rapist on death row but released for alleged invention

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/10/14 23:38:40

A screenshot of Sun Xiaoguo Photo: Sina Weibo

A Southwest China court began a retrial Monday for a convicted rapist who was freed despite being sentenced to death in 1998 for rape, forced insult to women and intentional injury.

Yunnan Provincial Higher People's Court in Kunming, the province's capital, will shortly announce the verdict for Sun Xiaoguo, who was roaming free, the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

Yunnan procuratorial authorities have prosecuted Sun for involved in organized gang crimes.

In connection with the case Yunnan prosecutors have investigated and prosecuted 19 people including Sun's acquaintances, Yunnan government officials, prison and police officers involved. 

Sun was twice convicted of sexual assault and sentenced to death for multiple crimes including rape and intentional injury in 1998. He finally received 20 years of imprisonment after a third trial at the provincial higher people's court in 2007. He was released in 2010 after multiple reductions in his sentence.

Sun's mother was a police officer and his stepfather a former deputy director of a public security bureau in Kunming. Working with prison and court officials, Sun's parents forged a patent for an anti-theft manhole cover that credited Sun for making an important technical innovation and so obtaining a reduced prison term, according to media reports. 

Under China's Criminal Law, convicts may have their prison terms reduced for making important technical innovations or inventions.

After being released from prison, Sun changed his surname to Li. He registered restaurants and night clubs in the new name and got involved in criminal activities again, media reported. 

Kunming Daily in April reported a crackdown on officials who provided a "criminal umbrella" for gangs including Sun's. Sun was arrested and is in custody, the report said. 

In May, China's national office against organized crime and gangs ordered an investigation into Sun's case, which found that in July 2018, Sun and seven other suspects went to a KTV in Kunming and physically beat several individuals with one victim badly injured. 

Sun's case has uncovered the loopholes in the law enforcement, patent certification, and medical systems in the province, observers said. 


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