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Official arrested for sex with boys


Police have detained a Guangzhou government official on suspicion of sexually assaulting under-age boys, local media reported yesterday.

Li Jun , 43, is accused of seducing and having sex with at least four boys, all aged around 13, The Southern Metropolis News reported, citing police.

Li works for the local Civil Affairs Bureau and is in charge of overseeing the city's non-governmental organisations.

The father of a 13-year-old boy in the city told the newspaper that his son was sexually assaulted by Li six times between last December and June, and received 200 yuan (HK$245) in cash each time. The father also accused Li of maintaining the relationship by buying the boy a 20,000-yuan laptop and products related to online games.

The newspaper said Li was detained on July 4, but neither the police nor Civil Affairs Bureau would confirm information when contacted yesterday, saying only that the case was too sensitive.

The boy got to know Li in December after receiving an anonymous message sent to young boys on QQ, the mainland's largest online social network, according to the father. The message allegedly said: 'I'm looking for a boy younger than 13.'

There were more than 160 boys aged 13 or younger on Li's QQ contact list, according to the newspaper, again citing police. Authorities said Li allegedly claimed to be the director of a popular TV series about the military and to play a supporting role in the show.

Electronics bought for the victims included iPads and iPhones, as well as a 1,000-yuan gift card for a local shopping mall, the father said, adding that he found out about the relationship when he discovered dirty messages between the two. He reportedly then pretended to be a 14-year-old boy and proposed a meeting with Li, only to secretly follow Li home from the meeting place. He called police when he had Li's address, the newspaper said.

A Guangdong-based lawyer, Li Xiujiao , said that people accused in these types of cases generally received lenient sentences, as a boy cannot be identified as a rape victim under mainland law.

'Only women and young girls can be victims of rape,' Li Xiujiao said, adding that the crime in question could be classified only as child molestation.

By law, people convicted of molestation in a private place may receive a sentence of up to five years in prison. If the crime is committed in public, the sentence can be 10 years.

'But rape of a young girl under 14 years old usually leads to a sentence of at least 10 years,' the lawyer said. 'This shows that the mainland's criminal laws still have loopholes.'