A video showing a father, who appears to be openly molesting his 5-year-old daughter on a train, sparked outrage on Chinese social media platforms.
Netizens expressed disappointment and anger toward the authorities’ investigation on the father’s behavior, which many found disturbing.
In the widely-shared footage captured by a fellow passenger, a 30-year-old man can be seen apparently touching and kissing his daughter inappropriately during a high-speed rail ride in Guangzhou.
Throughout the clip, he is shown lifting the girl’s blouse, caressing her back, and kissing her neck and face repeatedly while the child resisted by pushing back and telling her dad that she was in pain.
At one point, the man is seen sliding his hand into the child’s pants.
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“Daddy, I’m in pain. Stop touching my bottom,” the child can be heard saying.
Two women, reportedly his wife and mother-in-law, were sitting next to him during the ride. Both were busy using their mobile phones and did not seem to mind what was happening to the child.
The passenger who recorded the video sent the video clip to a local newspaper on Sunday and filed a report on the alleged molestation at a police station.
According to AsiaOne, the authorities initiated an investigation only after news of the incident spread online. The police released a statement via Weibo on Wednesday confirming that the man and girl in the footage are indeed father and child. However, the police investigation reportedly determined that the man’s actions did not constitute sexual assault.
The post has since been flooded with over 21,000 comments from angry netizens who could not believe the result of the investigation.
“I don’t know the definition of sexual assault anymore if this doesn’t count as molestation,” one commenter wrote.
“This is not molestation because they are father and daughter?” another asked.