Anger grows after singer's son detained following gang rape

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 February, 2013, 3:06pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 21 January, 2015, 4:42pm

The son of a famous PLA singer has been detained on suspicion of participating in a gang rape which took place last Sunday in a Beijing hotel.

His identity was confirmed on Friday, when Beijing’s Public Security Bureau revealed the detainee’s full name as Li Guangfeng - the new name used by 17-year-old Li Tianyi after he spent a year in detention for a road rage incident in 2011, the Beijing News.reported.

According to media reports, one of the suspects was Li’s friend from the youth reformation centre.

A spokesman from the security bureau refused to elaborate further on the case.

The news has sparked considerable public anger as this is Li’s second brush with the law. “It’s the father’s fault for not educating his son,” said one mainland internet user.

Many netizens expressed similar sentiments. Another wrote, “Parenting is crucial in a child’s development - senior officials must not spoil their children.”

In 2011, Li’s father famously apologised after the road rage incident, tearfully saying he would have “rather be beaten up” by the people his son had attacked.

A Weibo user mockingly said: “General Li has certainly been though many big storms in life. This is not a big deal. Maybe he can say: ‘I would rather be raped’ this time'. ”

According to mainland criminal law, Li, although under the age of 18, could face 10 years or more in prison if convicted.

Liu Xiaoyuan, a Beijing blogger and lawyer, however, noted on his Sina Weibo that according to Act 58 of China’s Protection of Minors law, the “reputation of privacy of minors should be protected and their dignity respected.”

Liu’s comment, however, annoyed some bloggers. One said on Weibo, “Why does the word ‘law’ sound so foreign to me?”

Another wrote, “Who doesn’t know about the Minor Protection Act? You [Liu] don’t have to be such a show off. It’s all about how laws get interpreted in China. The law should not be the shield for juvenile offenders supported by the rich and powerful.”

A third blogger said the law did not stop the security bureau from disclosing information to the public - even if minors were involved. “The public’s right to know should come before the reputation and privacy of suspects.”