Legal authorities issue judicial interpretation on heavier punishment in rape cases involving minors
Published: May 25, 2023 11:27 PM
court Photo:VCG


China's top court and procuratorate on Thursday issued a judicial interpretation to specify situations in which perpetrators should be punished more heavily in rape and molestation cases involving minors.

In the judicial interpretation issued by the Supreme People's Court and Procuratorate, certain situations are clarified as requiring more severe punishment with restrictions on sentence reduction and probation. For example, in cases where rape of minors is committed by means of violence or coercion, and in cases where rape of minors is committed by intrusion into a residence or a group dormitory for students, the offender will be punished more severely.

In addition, if an adult defendant pleads guilty to rape or molestation of minors, the court shall strictly limit the leniency of punishment, according to the judicial interpretation released by China's Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate.

The judicial interpretation also said that rape of a young girl (under 14) causing minor injuries or serious venereal disease should be considered as "causing injury to a young girl," resulting in an increased penalty. In addition, if the perpetrator is a person who has a duty of care for the victim, the penalty will also be increased.

Those found guilty of raping "left-behind" girls under 18, whose parents leave their hometown and children to work in bigger cities, or girls under 18 with serious disabilities, are subject to prison terms of more than 10 years, life imprisonment or death sentence.

On the same day, the authorities also issued a guideline on dealing with cases of sexual assault against minors, requesting that individuals and departments should take measures as quickly as possible if they find children suspected of being sexually assaulted or if they receive related reports, even when it is not their duty to do so.

The two legal documents will help to step up the fight against sexual assaults on minors, said the judicial authorities at a news conference on Thursday. 

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme People's Court approved death sentences for three men who were convicted of raping minors in Central China's Hubei and Henan Provinces and in East China's Shandong Province. 

Explaining the sentencing, the top court said that it shows Chinese courts' firm stance on punishing sexual assaults against minors. 

The court also reminded minors to raise awareness of self-protection, and for parents, schools, and the general public to pay attention to the rule of law in education, sex education and guidance and supervision of minors' use of the internet.

It also urged governance and supervision of internet content in order to prevent adverse effects on minors and prevent various types of cyber-related crimes against minors.

Na Yanfang, an official at the Supreme People's Procuratorate, said during Thursday's news conference that 5,358 cases of harm to children have been detected and handled over the past two years. The procuratorate and eight other authorities have set up a mandatory system that requires individuals and departments to report anyone suspected of doing harm to children to public security organs.

Global Times