PLA singer's son continues to deny rape as co-defendants plead guilty

Son of famous PLA singer continues to attack accuser's credibility as his co-defendants plead guilty and apologise for Beijing sex assault

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 8:09am

The four co-defendants of the teenage son of famous military singers have pleaded guilty to gang rape, leaving Li Guanfeng the sole suspect fighting the charges on the second day of the closely-watched trial.

Defence lawyers for Li - the son of People's Liberation Army singers Li Shuangjiang and Meng Ge - continued to attack the credibility of the victim of the February rape, accusing her of lying to police to blackmail Li and the others.

Li Guanfeng, 17, who was formerly known as Li Tianyi , has denied charges in the case, which has aroused public resentment about misdeeds by children of the country's elite.

The Haidian District People's Court said in a press release posted on its microblog yesterday that four of the five defendants accused of raping a woman they met at a Beijing night club had pleaded guilty. Three entered their pleas on Wednesday, while the fourth switched to a guilty plea yesterday.

Three of the defendants apologised for the attack, in which the victim also suffered facial injuries, and four asked for lighter sentences. The victim did not attend the trial.

Li and the other defendants will now await the judgment of the court. Four of the defendants, including Li, are minors, who the court said would be more likely to receive more lenient sentences.

Yesterday, Li's lawyer, Wang Ran , submitted a statement to the court accusing the victim of lying several times to the police about her personal details and injuries. In the statement posted online, Wang described Yang as "an unmarried woman with promiscuous sexual relationships", citing her medical records.

The statement is likely to renew the public outcry over the case as Yang's detailed personal information, including medical records, was made public.

"How ugly it is to expose where the girl - the victim of a rape case - studies and works online," wrote one internet user.

Ruan Qilin , a law professor with the China University of Political Science and Law, said defence lawyers were trying to damage the credibility of the victim's testimony by exposing details of her private life.

The prosecution produced witnesses testifying against Li yesterday, the Beijing Evening News reported on its official microblog account. After the assault Li talked to a witness over the phone about beating up the victim. The newspaper did not say how it obtained details of the proceedings, which are closed to the public.

Li has already been in trouble with the law, spending a year in a juvenile correctional facility for attacking a couple after his unlicensed BMW crashed into their car in September 2011.