A teacher who molested seven girls in Jiangxi province and passed along a sexually transmitted disease has been jailed for 14 years, state media reported yesterday. Tao Biaogong, 62, was sentenced by the Ruichang People's Court after being found guilty of molesting the second-grade pupils on several occasions between September last year and May this year, the court said on its website on Friday. The sexual assaults led six of the girls to contract the human papillomavirus, the statement said. "A 14-year-sentence is reasonable and suitable for Tao's offence as the maximum penalty for molesting children on the mainland is 15 years," Wang Yu , a Beijing lawyer retained by three of the victims' parents, told the Sunday Morning Post . "But for the parents of the seven victims, of course, they thought a 14-year-sentence was too light as some even felt Tao deserved the death penalty." Tao was also deprived of his political rights for four years, the verdict said, adding the severity of the sentence reflected the physical harm and mental health injury he had caused to the girls. Tao was detained on July 5 after the girls' parents reported the case to the police. The girls are aged from eight to nine, and most are "left-behind children", or those whose parents work as migrant labourers outside their hometown. Earlier reports said the six girls had suffered from genital warts containing a strain of the human papillomavirus after being subjected to continual sexual abuse by Tao. Wang said the girls' parents had filed a civil lawsuit on Thursday to seek compensation from the defendant and the school where he worked. "Schools are supposed to be safe places for children. But in this case, it became a crime scene. So we believe Shangyuan Primary School should take some responsibility," Wang said, adding that civil hearings were ongoing. China News Service said each family would seek 1 million yuan (HK$1.26 million) for medical costs and emotional distress. The mainland media has reported on dozens of cases of child sex abuse since May, when a principal and government official in Wanning city, Hainan , were convicted of taking Primary Six girls to a hotel for sex. Last month, four central government departments including the education ministry and police issued a comprehensive government plan to prevent child molestation in schools, but it was criticised as empty talk.