An investigation into two men accused of sexual assault took a new turn on Wednesday after one of the six child victims involved said she was offered money for sex.
The six primary-six classmates involved initially told authorities that the men, a primary school headmaster and government official had sexually molested – but not raped – them at two different hotels in Hainan province’s Wanning city.
Hainan police and doctors from the Wanning People’s Hospital gynaecology department said on Thursday that a medical examination found the girls’ hymens "were still intact”, the China Daily reported .
The girls’ parents have disputed the results and legal experts believe penetration is not required to make a criminal case for child rape, which in China, is not defined as a separate crime as it falls under the area of aggravated rape. The legal age of consent in China is 14.
It was also found on Thursday that one girl was allegedly offered 5,000 yuan (HK$6,300) in the hotel room by the school headmaster, surnamed Chen, after telling her if he wanted “it would only cost him 3,000 yuan to find a virgin to sleep with”, The Beijing News reported in a detailed analysis . The girls involved were aged 11 to 13.
According to police, four of the girls accompanied Chen to a Wanning hotel, a claim backed up by security video footage. The government official, surnamed Feng, is alleged to have taken the other two girls to a hotel in the island province’s capital Haikou. Feng, worked in the city’s housing authority and was sacked on Monday.
Both denied having “sexual relations” with the girls. But the parents pointed to numerous bruises on the girls’ wrists, necks and around their genitals. The closed-circuit video also showed the girls to be “groggy”, raising suspicions of them being drugged.
"I have no choice but to stay calm because we need to get to the bottom of this and find out exactly what happened to my girl. We must see that whoever did this is locked away," a victim's father told the South China Morning Post earlier this week.
"She is too little to know what happened to her – she's not even 12 yet," he said, adding that she was suffering from chronic headaches.
But according to the China Daily, the parents of all six girls have “disappeared” and can't be reached for comment.
The incident, first reported by the Beijing-based Legal Daily, has triggered a national outcry, with many calling for those responsible to be severely punished. The two suspects are set to stand trial.