Teacher arrested in Jiangxi for molesting young pupils, giving them sexually transmitted disease
Suspect admits sexual assaults on seven children at rural Jiangxi school; parents complain about girls' medical treatment for genital warts
At least six young girls left behind by their migrant worker parents in a village in Jiangxi province were infected with genital and anal warts by their 62-year-old teacher.
The classmates aged eight and nine from Shangyuan Primary School in Ruichang city are undergoing treatment after being diagnosed in July at Ruichang City People's Hospital.
"He [would] always put his two chalk-tainted fingers inside me. It hurt so much even to walk," said an eight-year-old victim.
A nine-year-old girl said: "Sometimes inside the classroom when we were reciting textbooks, sometimes in his office. It happened many many times, more than 60 times."
Hong Kong-based urologist Kwok Ka-ki said: "It is highly unlikely the abuse involved fingers only, as the virus [which causes the warts] lives on the mucus membrane of sexual organs."
The girls have stayed in the village to be raised by grandparents since they were infants as their parents sought better-paid jobs in affluent coastal cities.
Doctors found the girls' vaginal and anal regions were covered by masses of red and white bumps that were confirmed to be highly contagious genital warts.
Kwok said having genital and anal warts significantly raises the risk of cancer developing later if they are not treated properly.
"My sister-in-law took my girl and boy on a train from Ruichang to Hangzhou to visit me and my husband during the summer holidays. When I saw her, she was already walking strangely, deliberately with her legs apart," said Jian Liming, a 29-year-old mother of one of the girls. "That evening when I bathed her, my heart was torn to pieces," Jian said. "I couldn't sleep or eat properly for days."
The parents reported the incident on July 4 to the Ruichang Public Security Bureau. The teacher was arrested the next day and confessed to "molesting seven girls while marking assignments in his office and during classes", the bureau said. The seventh victim had switched schools and lost contact with the other families.
While police investigated the case, the Ruichang education department sacked the Shangyuan Primary School principal and another principal who oversaw the school.
"We were confined to the ill-equipped Ruichang hospital by two teachers who watched us around the clock. The government sent people to convince us to sign a deal agreeing not to pursue the case, in exchange for 50,000 yuan (HK$62,800)," said another parent, Wu Xueren, 30, who works at a shoe factory in Wenzhou with his wife.
Parents of three of the six girls decided to switch to a bigger hospital in Jiujiang city on Monday, but their medical records were withheld by the Ruichang hospital.
"They don't even have the proper equipment to perform vaginal examinations on young girls," said Wu. "They also performed four cryoablations [a process that uses extreme cold to destroy tissue] on my girl without anaesthesia. She cried her lungs out every time and her legs literally shook before we walked into the surgery."
Hong Kong-based Kwok said: "In modern medicine, performing cryoablations without any anaesthesia is unethical and unacceptable for anyone, let alone on young girls."
A new doctor seen by the parents in Jiujiang echoed Kwok's opinion about the cause of infection. "Just fingers? That's impossible," said the doctor.