PLA singer’s son appeals rape conviction

PUBLISHED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 9:51pm
UPDATED : Friday, 11 October, 2013, 9:51pm

A court in China’s capital will hear appeals by two defendants – including the son of a famous military singer – given prison terms for rape, state media reported on Friday.

The Beijing No 1 Intermediate People’s Court said on Friday it decided to hear the appeals, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The announcement comes after Li Guanfeng, who was formerly known as Li Tianyi, the teenage son of People's Liberation Army singers Li Shuangjiang and Meng Ge, was given 10 years in jail last month by a separate court in Beijing for the rape of a woman in a trial that spotlighted extravagant lifestyles among China’s elite.

Li, 17, and four other males were found guilty of the rape at a Beijing hotel in February, court authorities said in late September.

The case drew widespread scrutiny in the country, where the children of the elite are often seen as living lavishly or above the law due to their connections.

Li’s father Li Shuangjiang holds a rank equivalent to general in China’s military as dean of the music department for the army’s Academy of Arts, and is known for singing patriotic songs.

Li Guanfeng had previously triggered controversy in 2011 after he and another teenager, both driving expensive cars, attacked a couple who reportedly blocked their passage, while the victims’ child looked on.

Xinhua in its report on Friday identified the younger Li only as the son of Li Shuangjiang and did not provide his given name. The report also said the other appeal to be heard by the court involved the defendant sentenced to 12 years in jail, who was identified by the surname Wang.

The other defendants in the rape trial were sentenced to between three and four years in prison, Xinhua said on Friday. Court authorities last month said two received probation.