Online pictures depicting the sexual abuse of boys were reported to police by a Net user on Tuesday, although it remains unclear what action, if any, authorities will take.
A nine-member Weibo chat group discussed their experiences "seducing boys," according to Net user Juan'er, who told the Global Times Wednesday that she downloaded the pictures on Monday.
A Hangzhou user with the Weibo name Shenbianboy published posts about 20 boys aged about 10 years old matching them to sexually explicit words like "I want to eat you," according to the Weibo post forwarded by Juan'er on Monday.
In one picture, a boy with a pained expression lies in bed with the words "I cry though it's not so painful."
Shenbianboy claimed on his Weibo account he is from Sichuan Province and works as a mobile phone salesman in Hangzhou. All the posts have been deleted.
"I feel so angry after seeing these pictures and words," Juan'er told the Global Times. "We can't indulge these evil men in hurting boys and threatening their health."
Juan'er reported the posts to Beijing police on Tuesday. They suggested she report the incident to Hangzhou police. Hangzhou police said they could not file the case or detain the alleged poster.
Beijing police spokesman Zi Xiangdong told the Global Times Wednesday he is not sure if police had received Juan'er's report. If so, they should investigate the issue. Hangzhou police gave a similar reply to the Global Times.
"These pictures and the relevant behavior are illegal," Li Meijin, a criminal psychology professor at the People's Public Security University of China, told the Global Times on Wednesday. "It allegedly involves the crime of acting indecently against a child."
It's not the first case of sexual abuse of boys exposed by Net users. In 2012, seven users published posts saying their former high school teacher sexually assaulted them about 10 years ago when they were about 15 years old, China Central Television (CCTV) reported.
The whistle-blowing caused Zhang Datong, vice principal of the No.2 High School of East China Normal University in Shanghai, to be removed from his post.
Under Chinese criminal law, the crime of rape applies to females only. Boys older than 14 have no law protecting their rights.
"Compared to girls, boys suffer fewer sexual assaults, but the psychological harm boys suffer is also very serious," Beijing prosecutor Fu Xiaomei was quoted as saying by CCTV on Saturday. "If no law protects them, their pain will become more serious."